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NaTIQNaI iK|f"inPf*| 

WAGES AND HOURS 
IN AMERICAN 
INDUSTRY 

1922 



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Wages and Hours 
in American Industry 

July, 1914— July, 1921 



Research Report Number 45 
December, 1921 



National Industrial Conference Board 



THE CENTURY CO. ?f ' ; : ' 

NEW YORK '■,* \^\ 

PUBLISHERS ' ri''^ 



a 



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National Industrial Conference Board 

10 EAST 39th street, new YORK CITY 

BRANCH OFFICE 

SOUTHERN BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D. C. 

/T^HE National Industrial Conference Board is a co-operative 
-*■ body composed of representatives of national and state in- 
dustrial associations and is organized to provide a clearing 
house of information, a forum for constructive discussion, and 
machinery for co-operative action on matters that vitally affect 
the industrial development of the nation. 

Frederick P. Fish Chairman 

LoYALL A. Osborne Vice-Chairman 

Albert G. Duncan Treasurer 

Magnus W. Alexander Managing Director 

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS 

American Cotton Manufacturers' Association 

American Electric Railway Association 

American Hardware Manufacturers' Association 

American Malleable Castings Association 

American Paper and Pulp Association 

Electrical Manufacturers' Club 

Institute of Makers of Explosives 

Manufacturing Chemists' Association of the U. S. 

National Association of Cotton Manufacturers 

National Association of Farm Equipment Mfrs. 

National Association of Finishers of Cotton Fabrics 

National Association of Manufacturers 

National Association of Sheet and Tin Plate Mfrs. 

National Association of Wool Manufacturers 

National Automobile Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 

National Boot and Shoe Manufacturers' Association 

National Electric Light Association 

National Erectors' Association 

National Founders' Association 

National Industrial Council 

National Lumber Manufacturers' Association 

National Metal Trades Association 

Rubber Association of America^ Inc. 

The American Pig Iron Association 

The Railway Car Manufacturers' Association 

The Silk Association of America 

Tobacco Merchants' Association of the United States 

Associated Industries of Massachusetts 
Associated Industries of New York State, Inc. 
Illinois Manufacturers' Association 
Manufacturers' Association of Connecticut, Inc. 



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WAGES AND HOURS "^ 
IN AMERICAN INDUSTRY 

July, 1914 — ^July, 1921 



Research Report Number 45 
December, 1921 



National Industrial Conference Board 



THE CENTURY CO. 
NEW YORK 
PUBLISHERS 



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'JH 



G)pyright, 1922 
National Industrial Conference Board 



MAR 31 1922 



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FOREWORD 

The readjustments now proceeding in American industry 
make accurate, comprehensive and scientifically analyzed in- 
formation on changes in wages, hours, and the volume of em- 
ployment of timely interest and importance to business men, 
students of economics, and the public generally. 

To supply such information is the object of this report. It 
is the fourth of this nature published by this Board, much 
broader in scope than any of its predecessors, and more ex- 
tensive than any wage survey heretofore made in this country. 
It presents reliable data portraying the hourly and weekly 
earnings, hours of plant operation and worker hours, as well 
as employment, from the pre-war period to the middle of 
1921. It covers in special detail the period since June, 1920, 
when the prevailing depression began to show itself, and is 
therefore of great value in depicting the process of readjust- 
ment in the principal American industries during a period of 
declining business activity. 

Recognizing the general interest in the relation between 
wages and the cost of living, the report presents also a com- 
parison between changes in money wages for all industries 
and changes in the cost of living for the country as a whole, 
during the period studied, thus showing the trend of "real" 
wages, which is the purchasing power of money wages, from 
1914 onward. 

The present report rests on a broad and sound statistical 
foundation which will provide a basis for further studies by 
the Board of wages in American industry, and will make 
possible also a comparison with wage conditions in foreign 
countries. 



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CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction 1 

Summary and General Conclusions 7 

I. Foundry and Machine-Shop Products 33 

II. Automobile Manufacturing 41 

III. Agricultural Implement Manufacturing... 47 

IV. Electrical Apparatus Manufacturing S3 

V. Iron and Steel Manufacturing 61 

VI. Cotton Manufacturing 69 

A. North 69 

B.. South 75 

VII. Wool Manufacturing 81 

VIII. Silk Manufacturing 89 

IX. Hosiery and Knit Goods Manufacturing 95 

X. Rubber Manufacturing 101 

XL Leather Tanning and Finishing 107 

XIL Boot and Shoe Manufacturing 113 

XIII. Meat Packing 121 

XIV. Chemical Manufacturing 127 

A. Chemicals 127 

B. Fertilizer Manufacturing 133 

XV. Faint and Varnish Manufacturing 139 

XVI. Paper Manufacturing 145 

A. Paper and Wood Pulp Manufacturing. . . 145 
R. Paper Products Manufacturing 151 



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XVII. Printing and Publishing — Book and Job 157 

XVIII. Printing and Publishing — Newspapers and 

Periodicals 163 

XIX. Lumber Manufacturing and Millwork 169 

XX. Furniture Manufacturing 177 

XXL Brick and Tile Manufacturing 183 

XXII. Generation and Distribution of Electricity 191 

XXIII. Manufacture and Distribution of Gas 197 



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LIST OF SUMMARY TABLES AND CHARTS 

Tables 

PAGE 

Table A: Average Hourly Earnings, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921 9 

Table B : Average Weekly Earnings, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921 13 

Table C: Employment, All Industries, July, 1914 up 

to July, 1921 18 

Table D: Average Hours of Work, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921 20 

Table E: Changes in Actual Hourly Earnings, All In- 
dustries, July, 1914 up to July, 1921 . . .' 27 

Table F: Changes in Actual Weekly Earnings, All In- 
dustries, July, 1914 up to July, 1921 28 

Table G : Geographical Distribution of Plants Furnishing 

Data, All Industries 203 



Charts 

Chart A: Average Hourly Earnings, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921— Actual Figures 10 

Chart B: Average Hourly Earnings, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921 — Index Numbers 11 

Chart C: Average Weekly Earnings, All Industries, 

July, 1914 up to July, 1921— Actual Figures 14 

Chart D: Average 'Weekly Earnings, All Industries, 
July, 1914 up to July, 1921 — Index Numbers IS 

Chart E: Employment, All Industries, July, 1914 up 

to July, 1921 17 

vii 



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Chart F: Average Hours of Work, All Industries, 
July, 1914 up to July, 1921 21 

Chart G: Percentage Increases in Average Hourly 
Earnings up to July, 1921, over July, 1914, and 
Percentages of Change from June, 1920 up to July, 
1921, by Industries 23 

Chart H : Percentage Increases in Average Weekly 
Earnings up to July, 1921, over July, 1914, and 
Percentages of Change from June, 1920 up fo July, 
1921, by Industries 26 

Chart J: Percentages of Change in Employment, 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921, by Industries 

Chart K: Average Hourly and Weekly Money Wages, 
Cost of Living and "Rear* Hourly and Weekly 
Wages, All Industries, July, 1914 up to July, 1921 ... 31 



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Wages and Hours 
in American Industry 

July, 1914— July, 1921 



INTRODUCTION 

Scope of Investigation 

The aim in this investigation was to present a picture of the 
trend of industrial conditions in the United States as reflected 
in wages, hours of work and employment. These three 
factors are inseparably linked together, and to discuss the 
question of wages without inquiry into hours and employment 
would yield incomplete results, both from a scientific and 
practical point of view. The data contained in this report, 
therefore, deal not only with wages, but also with the average 
hours of the nominal or standard week, the average weekly 
hours of plant activity, the average actual week per wage 
earner, and with fluctuations in full-time and part-time 
employment. 

Three reports dealing with wages have already been issued 
by the National Industrial Conference Board. The first^ 
study published by the Board included eight industries, 
the second^ dealt with twelve, and the third^ with fifteen 
separate industries. 

The present report covers 23 major industries. Returns 
were received from 4,398 plants, employing 1,247,650 wage 
earners at the general height of industrial activity in 1920. 
Schedules were received from many other plants, but these 
were not sufficiently complete to warrant their inclusion in 
this report. The selection of industries was guided by the 
most recent United States Census of Manufactures and was 
in part determined by the availability of data. Industries 



* Research Report No. 20. "Wartime Changes in Wages: September, 

1914— March, IV 19." 

* Research Report No. 31. "Changes in Wages During and Since the War: 

September, 1914— March, 1920." 
'Research Report No. 35. "Wage Changes in Industry: September, 
1914— December, 1920." 

1 



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were chosen which were representative of the manufacturing 
activities of the country. The clothing industry was not in- 
cluded because its sliding scale of wage payments, its mixture 
of per diem and piece rates, and its seasonal fluctuations, made 
the gathering of satisfactory data impracticable at this time. 
For similar reasons, a few other representative industries 
could not be included. 

Wage movements are not necessarily best reflected by data 
gathered from a great number of plants, but rather by data 
from sources that are truly representative of industrial con- 
ditions. The 1919 Census of Manufactures lists over 80,000 
industrial establishments in the industries covered by this 
report. Over 5,000 of these establishments furnished infor- 
mation, and the plants included in this report employed about 
30 per cent of the total wage earners in all 80,000 plants. 

Period Covered by Report 

The data cover the period from July, 1914 up to 
July, 1921, and present an authentic record of wage changes 
in this period, gathered from comparable sources. The 
periodic wage studies conducted by the United States 
Bureau of Labor Statistics are from sources that are mainly 
non-identical. The single available source of continuing in- 
formation on wage fluctuations from June, 1914 to the present, 
that of the New York Industrial Commission^, reflects con- 
ditions in only one state. 

July, 1914 has been selected as the base for the study 
because this date immediately precedes the period affected 
by the outbreak of the World War. It reflects American in- 
dustry, in general, under fairly normal conditions. In some 
industries that period was a time of depression or seasonal 
stagnation, but on the whole, July, 1914 can be considered 
as the normal and standard basis for comparison with war 
and post-armistice conditions, whether economic, industrial 
or social. 

The period from 1914 to the middle of 1920 was character- 
ized by an advance from normal business activity to super- 
normal production, stimulated by the Great War. Industry 
reached the high-water mark in the middle of 1920, although 

1 Labor Market Bulletin, 



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in some industries deflation had already started in the spring 
months of that year. 

No attempt has been made to study the character of the 
rise from the base in 1914 to the general peak in 1920. The 
results of such an investigation would be largely of academic 
interest. Today the principal need is to show the trends from 
the peak to the present, and to relate the existing situation 
to that of the pre-war period. To meet this need, this report 
shows the flow of wages, hours of work and employment, 
month by month from June, 1920 up to July, 1921, related 
to the common base of July, 1914. 

Approximately three-quarters of the usable schedules which 
form the basis of this report give complete data from July, 
1914 up to July, 1921. The remainder are from plants that 
could not furnish July, 1914 data, but did compile returns for 
the period 1920-1921. This group contained many firms in 
existence in 1914, but whose payroll records from 1914 to 1920 
were unobtainable, and also firms that had started in business 
after 1914. It was felt that to eliminate from the report the 
group which supplied only 1920-1921 data would omit valu- 
able information. 

The problem, therefore, was to relate the data from the 
1914-1921 group with those from the 1920-1921 group of firms. 
In regard to weekly and hourly earnings, the average week per 
wage earner, the average week of plant operation and the 
hours of the nominal week, careful tabulation showed little 
divergence between the data for the two groups, covering 
the period from June, 1920 up to July, 1921. It seemed 
justifiable, therefore, to tie together the two groups for 1920- 
1921. For this reason, the actual and index base for hours 
and earnings, furnished by the 1914-1921 group of firmsj has 
been taken as the base for the entire 1920-1921 group. As 
explained later in this report, a diff^erqnt method was applied 
to employment data. 

The fact that three-quarters of the material covers the 
entire period, assures a predominant base which is sufiicient 
to outweigh any errors that might accrue by tying in a smaller 
group at June, 1920. In other words, the statistical method 
pursued has not involved changing the base or a greater part 
of the base between difi^erent periods. 



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Classification of Wage Earners 

This investigation deals only with the wage-earning group, 
and does not include executives, office and sales force, fore- 
men or assistants, if paid on a salary basis, or clerical workers. 

As in previous wage studies conducted by the Conference 
Board, data are classified first by sex. Male wage earners are 
then divided into the two general groups of "common or un- 
skilled" labor and "all other" labor. "Common or unskilled" 
labor is defined as that for which no previous training is re- 
quired — the general labor that performs the cruder "muscle" 
tasks. "All other" labor is composed of semi-skilled and 
skilled labor of all kinds — the group that must have had some 
training for their jobs. It contains all kinds of workers, from 
those who classify just above the rank of common laborers 
to the most highly skilled wage earners. The dividing line 
between these groups is difficult to determine, yet, on the 
whole, there is a general understanding as to the distinction 
implied by these terms. In the charts and tables contained 
in this report, the word "skilled" refers to the male workers 
in the "all other" group. 

An attempt was made in this investigation to ascertain wage 
rates as well as earnings for each of the principal occupa- 
tional groups in each industry. It was found, however, that 
with regard to the classification of occupations and to oc- 
cupational nomenclature, there was no general agreement be- 
tween plants in the same industry, or between different 
industries using substantially the same kind of labor. The 
attempt had, therefore, to be abandoned. 

Treatment of Wage Data 

This report deals with "money wages," which are to be 
distinguished from "real wages", or the purchasing power of 
money wages. Wherever "earnings" is used, it means total 
wages derived from labor services. 

Hourly, as well as weekly earnings, for each of the three 
classes in each industry, are included in the present investiga- 
tion. Hourly earnings are obtained by dividing the weekly 
payroll in money for each group of wage earners by the total 
actual hours worked by each group; weekly earnings are 
obtained by dividing the weekly payroll in money by the total 



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number of persons in each group of wage earners. The wage 
data have been given in tables and charts both in index num- 
bers, and in dollars and cents which picture actual conditions. 
The index numbers show the rate of increase and decrease 
from various points, and they further reflect the relative im- 
portance of wa£:e changes in the different groups. 

Treatment of Employment Data 

While the 1914-1921 and 1920-1921 groups were consoli- 
dated in showing trends of earnings and hours, such a pro- 
cedure in regard to employment data was considered statisti- 
cally incorrect. The base furnished by the 1914-1921 group 
of establishments could be used as the base for trends in 
earnings and hours for all establishments, but this base could 
not be used for all establishments in regard to employment. 
Here the problem deals with actual numbers rather than with 
trends, and to use the base of a smaller group as the base for 
the whole group would lead to wrong conclusions. Con- 
sequently the employment data for the total and for the three 
classified groups individually are shown for the 1920-1921 
period only. Additional information, covering the establish- 
ments from which data for 1914-1921 were available, is also 
included on the employment charts. 

Treatment of Data on Hours of Work 

The report covers three kinds of data regarding hours of 
work: (1) the average actual week per wage earner, (2) the 
average actual week of plant operation, (3) the nominal or 
standard work week. 

"The average actual week per wage earner" is obtained by 
dividing the total man or worker hours of each group by the 
number of workers employed in that group. In consolidating 
this information from individual plants into data for an in- 
dustry, the number of wage earners in each plant was taken 
into account, thereby securing a weighted average for each 
industry. 

"The actual week of plant operation" is the average of 
the hours of operation of all the plants covered in a specific 
industry. The figure is obtained by multiplying the total 
number of wage earners in each plant by the hours of opera- 



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ion of that plant, and then dividing the sum of these totals 
by the total number of wage earners, thus combining these 
data into an average for the industry. This gives the properly 
weighted hours of plant operation for an industry. 

The ''nominal or standard work week" in a plant is the 
number of hours which the plant is supposed to operate. The 
hours of the nominal week are determined not so much by the 
size of the individual establishment as by the prevailing hours 
within the industry, or by a collective contract between man- 
agement and employees. The nominal week for an entire 
industry has been ascertained by taking the average of the 
nominal weeks in all the establishments of that industry. 
This average has not been weighted in relation to the number 
of plant employees, because the object is to ascertain the aver- 
age week for the plants in the industry rather than for the 
workers in the plants. 

The comparison between the average hours per individual 
wage earner and the actual week of plant operation shows 
the divergence between the hours that all. the wage earners 
have actually worked and the hours that the plant has ac- 
tually operated. It measures the inefficiency of plant opera- 
tion due to any or all causes. In addition, the comparison be- 
tween the actual week of plant operation and the nominal 
week reflects broadly the economic condition of the industry. 

In determining the actual week of plant operation, full 
account was taken of the time lost due to local and legal holi- 
days, and to local and temporary plant disabilities. Losses 
due to these causes are not to be attributed to economic and 
industrial conditions, but to temporary and local circumstances. 
To compute average weekly hours and earnings on the basis of 
a week that has been reduced through a cause not related to 
conditions governing working time in the industry, would 
result in lowering the average so that it would not be repre- 
sentative or typical of other weeks in the month. On this 
account the wage schedule requested representative weeks 
which were, as far as possible, unaffected by legal and local 
holidays. Where such holidays occurred, the time lost was 
added to the hours of actual plant operation and to ^he 
average actual week per wage earner, and the normal week 
of hours and earnings was thus established. 



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SUMMARY AND GENERAL CONCLUSIONS 

•The present wage investigation, covering the interval from 
July, 1914 to the middle of 1921, deals with an especially 
interesting period of American industry. Starting from a pre- 
war base, the study reflects the tremendous expansion in 
many manufacturing industries under pressure of war stimula- 
tion and post-war demands, followed by the industrial de- 
pression which developed in the spring of 1920 and has since 
continued in most industries. The period of deflation has 
been pne of wide fluctuations, characterized by general wage 
reductions, unemployment, part-time operation, and curtail- 
ment of production. 

The general results of the investigation are dealt with under 
five headings: 

A. Composite data for all industries. 

B. Comparison of data between industries. 

C. Comparison of data between classified groups in all 
industries. 

D. Comparison of composite hourly and weekly earnings 
with the cost of living. 

E. General conclusions. 

A. Composite Data for All Industries 

Not all of the material presented in the twenty-six separate 
industrial sections is included in the composite results. Data 
from gas and electric light and power companies are not used , 
as conditions in these public utilities are not quite compar- 
able with those in other manufacturing industries. Wages 
and rates are generally determined by local or state legislation, 
and the conditions in these industries require continuous opera- 
tion, making an accurate record of hours of little value. 
Further, of the seventy iron and steel plants from which 
returns were received, data from sixteen plants have not been 
included in the composite returns, because the payroll 
records of these plants did not give classified data. Moreover , 
their inclusion in the composite results would not have 
materially altered these results. The composite returns in 



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this section, therefore, include only 4,084 plants, employing 
1,200,000 wage earners in the aggregate, while in discussing 
general results relating specifically to earnings, employment 
and hours, the number of plants and wage earners covered is 
designated in each case. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: The compilation of data on hourly 
earnings does not include returns from boot and shoe establish- 
ments ^ in addition to the gas and electric plants and certain 
iron and steel companies already mentioned. The composite 
hourly earnings for all industries, therefore, include data from 
only 3,973 plants. Women were employed in 1,717 of these 
plants. 

Composite hourly earnings of all wage earners increased 
156% between July, IQJ4 and September, ig20. The decline 
from the latter period to the middle of jg2i amounted to 16.^%' 
At that time, the net increase over July, 1914 was 114%. The 
actual decrease in money in average hourly earnings Jor all wage 
earners from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 amounted to $,09H. 

The trend shows a well-sustained level to the end of 1920. 
Beginning in January, 1921, sharp declines occurred, which 
increased throughout the entire first six months of the year. 

By September, ig20 the hourly earnings oj common labor had 
increased 163% over July, 1914. In the same month, those of 
skilled labor showed an increase of 149%, while the high point 
of hourly earnings jor women was reached in June, 1920, when 
there was an increase of 171% over the 1914 level. 

The percentages of decline for the three groups from the peak 
months up to July, 1921 were as follows: common labor, 17.3%; 
skilled labor, 15.2%; women, 14.6%. Relatively, the amount 
of decline for women was less than that for the male group. 

The percentages of increase in June, 1921 over 1914 for the 
three groups were respectively, 117%, 111% and 131%. 

Between June, 1920 and the end of June, 1921, the hourly 
earnings of common labor declined $.084, those of skilled labor 
$.097, and those of women, $.061. 

The general tendency in the trends for the individual groups 

^ Data on hourly earnings were not received from a sufficient number of boot 
and shoe establishments to warrant their inclusion in the composite results. 
See p. 13. 

8 



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Chart A: Average Hourly Earnings, All Industries, 
July, 1914 Up to July, 1921. 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 

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Chart B: Average Hourly Earnings, All Industries, 



INDEX 
NUMBEOS 

3SD 



3SS 



300 



275 



ESQ 



SBS 



SQO 



IQO! 



July, 1914 Up to July, 1921. 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 





INDEX 


N 


UM 


BE 


93 




















































































Si 


D 


*•• 


5S 


k 












3^ 

ME 


— ^ 


ILLC 


5^ 


^ 

^ 


^ 


>• 


.. 


.^ 




















^ 


iiil 


iii 



































































































JUH JUL. AU& SEPT OCT HW. DEC JAM FE& MAft APBl MAY JUN 

laeo laei 



11 



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of weekly earnings for women was reached in April, 1921, 
when there was a decline of 17.2% from the peak. 

The general tendencies noted in composite weekly earnings 
apply for each of the three groups, the general high levels of 
the groups being maintained through 1920, with slight de- 
clines occurring toward the close of the year, except for 
women, and with sharp reductions continuing during the 
first six months of 1921. The effect of part-time operation 
on the earnings of the male group, particularly common labor, 
has been predominant. 

The decline in weekly earnings has been far more extensive 
than in hourly earnings, due chiefly to part-time operations, 
plant shutdowns and part-time employment. Wage trends 
indicate well-sustained levels in basic industries through 1920 
with sharp reductions occurring in the winter months of 1920- 
1921. The spring months of 1921 were characterized by 
continued declines, though they were not so severe as in 
the previous months. In the three classified groups, male 
common and skilled labor suffered far more severe reductions 
than women. In comparison with 1914, wage levels for 
women in 1921 show the greatest net increases. This may be 
partially accounted for by the progress which women made 
during the war, through legislation and otherwise, in bringing 
their wage levels nearer to those of men. On the whole, this 
wage investigation shows that wage decreases were general 
throughout American industry. 

Employment 

Composite data on employment include returns from 4,084 
establishments. Women were employed in 1,827 of these 
plants. 

The total employment in all industries decreased 37,1% from 
June y 1920 y generally the peak of industrial activity , up to July, 
1921. The trend shows fairly well sustained conditions 
through October, 1920. Slight reductions occurred in Novem- 
ber and extensive lay-offs took place in December, 1920. 
The unemployment situation began to be severe in the opening 
months of 1921 and gradually became worse through the 
first six months of the year. The large amount of decline 
in the metal working trades, building materials manufacturing, 

16 



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NUMBER OF WABE EARNERS 



/ 



J- 



I 



L 



Chart E: Employment, All Industries, July, 1914 Up to 

July, 1921 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 
THOUSANDS 

l,2DQ 



I.IQQ 

I.QDO 

SQO 

aoo 

700 
BOD 
SQO 
400 
300 
SQO 
100 



JULY 

1914. I9S0 




laei 



17 



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Table C 

EMPLOYMENT 
Composite and Classified Employment in 24 Industries 



PERIOD 



NUMBER WAGE EARNERS EMPLOYED 



Composite 



One Week In 



Total 
1914-21 
Establ. 



Total 
1920-21 
Establ. 



Classified 



Male 
Unskilled 



Male 
Skilled 



Women 



1914 
July 

1920 

{unc 
uly 

August 

September . 

October 

November. . 
December. . 

1921 

January 

February. . . 

March 

April 

May 

June 



638y531 



954,438 
954,627 
918,777 
902,149 

857,754 
808,558 
750,318 



687,350 
671,987 
658,709 
637,998 
619,292 
598,226 



638y531 



1,185,611 
1,170,950 
1,141,270 
1,112,802 
1,054,632 
990,875 
918,428 



838,230 
823,218 
814,242 
795,457 
772,092 
745,703 



142^83 



275,059 
276,621 
274,353 
264,436 
250,220 
229,718 
208,629 



184,873 
180,981 
179,650 
172,871 
165,113 
158,683 



389,587 



729,185 
717,048 
696,072 
680,806 
645,316 
612,540 
570,776 



523,452 
509,508 
500,031 
486,884 
468,873 
451,715 



106,661 



181,367 
177,281 
170,845 
167,560 
159,096 
148,617 
139,023 



129,905 
132,729 
134,561 
135,702 
138,106 
135,305 



2,966 establishments furnished 1914^21 data. 
4,084 establishments furnished 1920-21 data. 

and rubber manufacturing, overbalanced the generally sus- 
tained levels in the textile industries. 

Employment of common labor declined 42.3% from June, 
1920 up to Juljy 192 U and was the most severely affected 
group during the depression period. Skilled labor declined 
38,1% from June^ 1920 up to July^ 1921, while women 
were the least affected, with a decline of 25,4% during the 
same period. The trough period of employment for women 
was reached in January, 1921, when there was a decline of 
28.4% from the peak. Between January and June, 1921, 
there was an increased employment of women amounting to 
approximately 4%. This may be accounted for by the return 
of women wage earners employed on piece-work in the textile 
industries and in boot and shoe manufacturing. 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



In the 2,966 establishments which furnished complete data 
from July y 1914 up to July, 1921, total employment increased 
49.5% between July, 1914 and June^ 1920. The percentage of 
decline in these establishments from June, 1920 up to July, 
1921 was 37.3%. In other words, in June, 1921, the in- 
dustrial depression had forced employment in the same estab- 
lishments 6,3% below the level of July, 1914. 

Hours 

No composite data are presented in regard to the average 
hours of the nominal week. Composite nominal hours in 26 
industries of divergent character would portray little that is 
valuable for comparison. 

The actual week of plant operation has been compiled for all 
industries except the three industries whose normal method of 
production is on a two or three shift basis. This group in- 
cludes the chemical industry, iron and steel manufacturing and 
paper and wood pulp mills. The average hours of plant opera- 
tion were compiled from 3,825 establishments. Women were 
employed in 1,728 of these plants. 

The composite actual week of plant operation in all industries 
shows a reduction from 53.7 hours in July, 1914 to 50 hours in 
June, 1920. Plant activity continued on a well-sustained level 
through September, 1920. In October a slight decline occurred, 
followed by large reductions at the close of the year. The begin- 
ning of 1921 was characterized by severe depression in plant 
activity, the level being below 45]/^ hours, or a loss of over 4]/2 
hours from June, 1920. The trough period of 44.6 hours was 
reached in April, 1921. May witnessed a strong revival to 45.9 
hours, which was probably due to increased activity in metal 
trades and textiles. A decline occurred again in June, 1921. 

The trend of plant hours clearly reflects the condition of 
American manufacturing industries from 1914 to the middle 
of 1921 . There was a general reduction of the length of work- 
ing hours in all industries between 1914 and 1920, while the 
plant hours were steadily reduced during the depression period . 
The general trend of plant operation has been closely followed 
by the trend in the hours of the actual week per wage earner. 

The composite average actual week per wage earner was 
compiled from all industries except public utilities, boot and 
shoe manufacturing and 16 iron and steel plants, which did not 

19 



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Table D 

AVERAGE HOURS OF WORK 

Classified and Composite Hours of the Average Week Per Wage 

Earner, and Composite Plant Hours 



PERIOD 



One Week In 



1914 

July 

1920 

{unc 
uiy 

August 

September. . 
October .... 
November. . 
December. . 

1921 
January. . . . 
February. . . 

March 

April 

May 

June 



ACTUAL WEEK PER WAGE EARNER 



Classified 



Male 
Unskilled 



53.0 



50.4 
50.6 
50.2 
49.9 
49.7 
48.5 
47.2 



45.4 
44.8 
45.2 
44.7 
45.0 
45.0 



Male 
Skilled 



50.6 



49.1 
49.0 
49.0 
48.4 
48.5 
47.2 
46.2 



44.3 
44.0 
43.8 
43.5 
43.8 
43.6 



Women 



49.8 



45.0 
44.9 
44.3 
44.5 
43.8 
41.9 
41.1 



41.3 
42.2 
42.5 
42.4 
43.5 
43.5 



Composite 



51.1 



48.9 

48.8 
48.7 
48.2 
48.1 
46.8 
45.7 



44.1 
43.9 
44.0 
43.6 
44.0 
43.9 



PLA^^^ 

HOURS 



53.7 



50.0 
50.0 
49.8 
49.4 
48.9 
47.7 
46.5 



45.4 
45.4 
45.3 
44.6 
45.9 
45.5 



2,884 establishments furnished 1914-21 data on Actual Week per Wage Earner 
3,973 establishments furnished 1920-21 data on Actual Week per Wage Earner. 
2,798 establishments furnished 1914-21 data on Plant Hours. 
3,825 establishments furnished 1920-21 data on Plant Hours. 



contribute hourly data. The total compilation of the average 
week per wage earner included 3,973 establishments. Women 
were employed in 1,717 of these plants. 

The average actual week per wage earner in all industries 
showed a decline from 51,1 hours in July^ 1914 to 48,9 hours in 
Juney 1920, The latter level was well sustained through October ^ 
~when the decrease in plant activity began to affect working hours ^ 
there being a decrease in November to 46,8 hours. In December 
there was a further decline to 45,7 hours. The beginning of 1921 
marked a still Jurther reduction to 44,1 hours and the depression 
period continued to the trough in April of 43,6 hours, A revival 
occurred in May ^followed again by a slight depression in June, 
In June^ 1921, the average wage earner was working exactly 

20 



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Chart F : Average Hours of Work, All Industries, July, 
1914 Up to July, 1921. 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 
HOURS 

PER WEEK AVEPA6E HOURS OF WOPK 
BO 



SS 



SO 



4S 



40 



33 



\ 



' ^^^ 



\ ^ 
\ 
\ 
\ 



30 



as 




MEN 



*«. 



-SKILLEO 



-mf JunjuL m.smoctimiaELjAHnAiAiDm.MXtJM. 

1914. laeo laei 



21 



Digitized by LaOOQ IC 



five hours less than in the preceding June^ this constituting a loss 
oj approximately 10.2%. This great decline in working hours 
may be accounted for directly by the industrial depression, 
and naturally has caused an extensive reduction in weekly 
earnings. 

In the three groups, the average week per unskilled wage 
earner in 1914 was 53 hours. In June, 1920 they had decreased 
to 50.4 hours. In June, 1921 the unskilled wage earner was 
working only 45 hours per week. In July, 1914 the average 
skilled wsige earner was working 50.6 hours. In June, 1920 
the hours had declined to 49.1, while in June, 1921 the hours 
had fallen to 43.6. The loss of 5.5 hours suffered by the 
skilled wage earner between June, 1920 and June, 1921 shows 
that the skilled class has been even more severely affected by 
the industrial depression than male common labor or women. 
In July, 1914 the average woman wage earner was working 
49.8 hours. In June, 1920 the hours had decreased to 45 
per week, while in June, 1921 they were 43.5 hours. The 
depression period for women wage earners occurred in Decem- 
ber, 1920, when there was a drop to 41.1 hours. The hours of 
womeny therefore, have increased since the beginning of 1921 
and they are the only group to show a sustained recovery from 
a trough period. Women have been less affected by decline in 
working hours than men. 

B. Comparison of Data Between Industries 

Wages 

The comparison of wages between industries is presented 
in bar diagrams showing the percentage increases in hourly 
and weekly earnings in June, 1921, over July, 1914. In 
addition, the percentage of decline from June, 1920 up to 
July, 1921, is also designated. 

(a) Hourly earnings: The greatest net increase in hourly 
earnings in June, 1921 over July, 1914, occurred in the textile 
group. In June, 1921 the wool industry showed an increase 
of 153% over July, 1914, while northern cotton mills showed 
a percentage increase of 142% and southern cotton mills of 
120%. Hourly earnings in silk increased 128% and in hosiery 
manufacturing 121%. 

In the metal trades the increases range from 1 12% in iron and 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



steel to 100% in automobiles. The whole metal industry 
shows a level of approximately 105% increase over 1914. 
It can be seen readily that this level is below that of the 
textile industries. 

Rubber and meat packing show large increases of 136% and 
132% respectively. In paper manufacturing the net levels 
were also high, amounting to 129% in paper and wood pulp 
and 142% in paper products. 

Boots and shoes, newspaper printing, brick and tile, paint 
and varnish, and gas and electric light plants show compara- 
tively small increases in hourly earnings. 

(b) Decline in hourly earnings: Generally speaking, the 
largest amount of decline between June, 1920 and June, 

Chart G: Percentage Increases in Average Hourly Earn- 
ings Up to July, 1921, Over July, 1914, and Percentages of 
Change From June, 1920, Up to July, 1921, by Industries. 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



wool 

COTTON -NOHTH 

IW»ER POOOUCTS 

RUBBER 

MEAT PACKING- _. 

PAPER «• WOOD PULP.—. 

SILK 

HOSIERY 6- KNIT GOODS. 

COTTON- SOUTH 

FURNITURE 

LEATHER 

CHEMICALS 

IRON d STEEL 

PRINTING (BOOK 6 JObX. 

AGRICULTURAL IMPLE | 

ELECTRICAL APPARATUS..] 

P0UN0RIE8. I 

LUMBER «• Mfi:LWORK \ 

CAS 

AUTOMOBILES 

BOOTS «. SHOES 

ELECTRICITY 

PAINT «. VARNISH 

BQICK & TILE _-_. 

PQINTINB (NEW8RA0CRV 
FERTIUZCn : -.{_. 



PtnCCKITABE INCREASE UP TD JULY. Iflgl OVCP JULY. 1914 




-17 9% 
-22 i 
-2 7 
.-l'3. 1 
-152 
-13.4 
-14 3 

-a. I 

-26 1 

'BB 
■■rTO 
•14.5 
-25 6 

♦79 
-iZO I 

-0 2 

-I to 

-( »4' « 

• '^^■^. 
-05 
-63 
-1.75 
' ■♦BO 
27 3 



23 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



1921 occurred in the industries which showed the largest 
increases between July, 1914 and June, 1920. This is particu- 
larly true of the textile group, where reduction in hourly earn- 
ings has ranged from 8.1% in hosiery factories to 28.1% in 
southern cotton mills. Similarly, in the metal trades a large 
amount of expansion has been followed by a large amount of 
contraction. The declines range from 8.2% in electrical ap- 
paratus manufacturing to 25.6% in iron and steel plants. 
Foundries and machine shops, the largest single basic group 
in the entire study, show a decrease of 11%. Extensive de- 
creases in hourly earnings have been noted also in meat 
packing, leather, brick and tile manufacturing, while those 
in boots and shoes, furniture, paper products, and gas and 
electric light plants, were below the general level of reductions. 

(c) Weekly earnings: The increases in average weekly earn- 
ings in June, 1921 over July, 1914 ranged from 128% in wool 
to 49% in fertilizer manufacturing. As in the case of hourly 
earnings, the textile group, as a whole, show the greatest 
increases. Among other industries may be mentioned furni- 
ture, 105%; leather, 99%; boots and shoes, 98%; gas, 98%; 
book and job printing, 97%; and meat packing, 97%. 

Part-time operations forced many industries toward low 
levels of weekly earnings, although the average hourly earn- 
ings were sustained at high levels. 

(d) Decline in weekly earnings: As in the case of hourly 
earnings, the largest amount of decrease in weekly earnings 
took place in those industries where there were the largest 
increases during war-time production. There was a net in- 
crease of 107% in northern cotton mills in June, 1921, while 
the decline from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 amounted to 
28.4%. Large decreases are noted in the metal trades, 
such as agricultural implement manufacturing, 37%, foun- 
dries, 26%, and automobiles, 24.2%. Large decreases were 
noted also in northern and southern cotton mills and in 
fertilizer, brick and tile, and paper manufacturing. At the 
bottom of the list appear boot and shoe manufacturing and 
gas and electric light companies. 

Employment. 



ComparisDH of employment in various industries from June, 
1920 up to July, 1921, shows that unemployment has been 



24 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Chart H: Percentage Increases in Average 


Weekly 


Earnings Up to July, 1921, Over July, 1914, and 


Percent- 


ages of Change From June, 1920 Up to July, 


1921, BY 


Industries. 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 






PcaccNTAoe 


PCnCENTAGt INCnEA3E UD TO JULY. 1921 OVER JULY. I9IA 


•^^a^ 




-«28% 




-10 1 
-59 




•ZOA 




-134 
-152 




-173 

-4 a 








-IB.I 








-304 
-21.7 




-I9.S 




-17.7 




-0 3 




-10 1 




-20.4 
-12.4 






-ia.7 




♦3.9 




-2B0 




-24 2 


ABRICULTUOAL IMPLE ■■■■^^^Bl 


-37 


IRON & STEEL ■■■mB 


-45.3 


FEUTILIZEa H^^^^^B 


•32.3 



more general in the metal trades than in any other group. 
The percentages of decline in this group range from 65.8% 
in agricultural implement manufacturing to 35.7% in elec- 
trical apparatus plants. 

Employment in the rubber industry dropped 54%, while 
in chemicals the decline was 45%. The number employed 
in paper and wood pulp mills declined 48.3%, chiefly due to 
labor conditions in May and June, 1921. 

The textile industry was less affected by the drop in employ- 
ment than any other group. Declines ranged from 14.2% 
in northern cotton mills to 5.3% in southern cotton mills, 
while increases were noted in silk and wool of 3% and 4.3% 

25 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



respectively. Newspaper printing also showed an increase 
of 2.7%, while gas and electric plants were little affected by 
general economic conditions. The composite decline of the 
entire metal group amounted to 46%, while that of the textile 
group amounted to only 5.8%. 

Chart J : Percentages of Change in Employment From 
June, 1920 Up to July, 1921, by Industries 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 

. PEQCCNTABC. OCCOEASE 

AGQICULTUQAL IMPLC... 

BUBBEQ 

FERTIUZEa _-. 

AUTOMOBILES 

PAPER 6- WOaO PULR... 

IQON €> STEEL- — . 

CHEMICALS -. 

raUNOQIES 

ELECTQICAL APPARATUS. 

BRICK C TILE 

PAPER PRODUCTS— 

PAINT & VARNISH 

FURNITURE 

LEATHER TANNING 

MEAT PACKING 

PRINTING (BOOK €> J0B).| 
LUMBER S' MILLWORK... 

COTTON - NORTH 

HOSIERY «. KNIT GOODS. 

BOOTS A SHOES 

COTTON- SOUTH 

ELECTRICITY-... 

BAS ^ 

PRINTING (NEWSMPERlJS 

SILK.. 

WOOL. 



C. Comparison of Data Between Classified Groups in 
all Industries 

Tables E and F are a recapitulation of material included 
in the separate industrial sections and are valuable for com- 
paring actual wages paid for the same type of labor in differ- 
ent industries* 

26 




Digitized by VjOOQ IC 









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28 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



D. Comparison of Composite Houriy and Weekly 
Earnings with the Cost of Living 

This report gives the hourly and weekly money wages of 
the three groups of wage earners for various industries. Such 
data, however, do not fully reflect the economic status of the 
wage earner in the periods covered. To show this it is 
necessary to study money wages in relation to the cost of 
living, in order to ascertain the purchasing power of the wages 
received, or, in other words, to determine the real wages. 
Thus, whereas a weekly wage of $10 will buy one living at a 
time when the wage earner's cost of living is $10 per week, an 
increased weekly wage of $15 at a later time will buy \}4 
livings if the cost of living remains stationary, or will buy one 
living with an increase of the cost of living to $15 per week, or 
will buy only three-quarters of a living if the weekly cost of 
living should have risen to $20 per week. 

In the present report, composite hourly and weekly earn- 
ings in the various industries are shown, together with changes 
in the cost of living for the country as a whole, as ascertained 
by the National Industrial Conference Board;^ and by combin- 
ing the two, changes in real wages during the periods studied 
are brought out. While comparisons of wage changes in 
specific industries with changes in the cost of living for the 
country as a whole serve in a general way to reflect the real 
wages in these separate industries, they do not necessarily 
portray the actual situation in large industrial centers or 
areas. Since most industries are highly localized, their real 
wages can be determined accurately only on the basis of local- 
ized cost of living studies. 

Starting in July, 1914 with index number 100 for cost of 
living, for money wages and for real wages y in July, 1920, when 
the cost of living had risen to an index figure of 204.5, hourly 
earnings had increased to 252 and weekly earnings to 240. 
Thus, in July, 1920 the real wage based on hourly earnings 
was 123.2, while the real wage based on weekly earnings was 
117.4. 

While the peak of the cost of living was reached in July, 
1920, the peak of hourly earnings did not occur till September. 
The decline in the cost of living, subsequent to July, 1920, 
therefore continued to increase the real wage based on hourly 
iSee Research Reports Nos. 9, 14, 17, 19, 25, 28, 30, 33, 36, 39, 44. 

29 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



earnings, up to March, 1921, when the real wage curve stood 
at 133.4. In April and May, 1921 the real wage based on 
hourly earnings showed a slight decline but rose in June to 
132.2. In other words, in the middle of 1921 the real hourly 
earnings were 32,2% higher than in July, 1914, 

The peak of real weekly earnings, however, occurred in Oc- 
tober, 1920, when the index stood at 120.6. During the next 
two months, weekly earnings declined faster than the cost of 
living, so that the real wage curve based on weekly earnings 
stood in December at 116.8, and in January at 113.7. Real 
weekly earnings rose during February and March, when the 
cost of living declined less than did weekly earnings. The 
trough period occurred in April, 1921, when real weekly earn- 
ings stood at 112.8. A recovery took place in May and June, 
when real weekly earnings rose to 114.1 and 114.3. In other 
words, at the end of June^ 1921, the real weekly earnings were 
14 J% higher than in July, 1914, 

The investigation conclusively shows that the reduced hourly 
earnings in June, 1921 left the wage earner 32,2% better of 
in real hourly wages, and 14,3% better off in real weekly earn- 
ings than in July, 1914. In the latter case, part-time employ- 
ment, in addition to wage reduction, was responsible for the 
difference between real hourly and real weekly earnings. 

E. General Conclusions 

The general results of the entire study may be summed up as 
follows: 

(1) Both hourly arid weekly earnings in all branches of 
American industry show large increases from July, 1914 to 
June, 1920. 

(2) The trends of hourly and weekly earnings show well 
sustained levels through 1920, with sharp declines occurring 
at the beginning of 1921 and continuing through the first six 
months of the year. 

(3) The decline in weekly earnings was influenced more 
by part-time employment than by reduction in hourly earnings. 

(4) The extensive decline in wages has affected women less 
than men. 

(5) While there was a tremendous drop in employment 
frofh the general peak of productive activity in 1920, through 

30 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Chart K: Average Hourly and Weekly Money Wages, 

Cost of Living and "Real" Hourly and Weekly Wages, 

All Industries, July, 1914 Up to July, 1921. 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 



INDEX 
NUMBERS 



3D0 
260 
26Q 
ZAD 

200 
160 
IBO 
140 
120 



lOOE 



1 



// 



// / 
" / 



-if 
I! 



rr 



II / ^ 






• 
























HOI 
WEE 


QLY 
KLY 


EAR1 
EAR 


IINQ 
NINC 


^ 
















5 
S 


-* 


s 


















»•# 


\ 


\ 


— ^ 


s 


S 






- 


A 


)-( 


kr 








\ 


^ 


k. 




1 

COJ 


ITQ 




ING 


s 


s 


k 


V 


s 


s 


!■■ 


•♦4 
















1 


N 


5-c 




S 






















n 




"r 


eal" 


EAR 


4INE 


IS - 

\ 




HOI 


IRLY 


— 






— 


■■■( 


• ••• 








••• 


••^.^ 


rEEK 


iX.. 


•••, 


.•— 


••■ 



JUl^ JUH JUL. AU& SEPT OCT mi. DEC JAM FER MAR APR MAY JUN . 

IB14 iBea laei 



31 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



the middle of 1921, employment in identical establishments 
in June, 1921 had shrunk only slightly below that of the 1914 
level. 

(6) There was a general reduction in the length of working 
hours between 1914 and 1920, due to economic and social 
influences. The decline between 1920 and the middle of 1921, 
however, may be traced directly to the industrial depression. 
The average loss of plant activity for all industries during the 
latter period amounted to Ayi hours, or a drop of 9% from 
the hours of operation in June, 1920. 

(7) The average actual week per wage earner in all industries 
in June, 1921 was 10% or five hours less than that in June, 
1920. The trend of working hours has closely followed that 
of plant activity. 

(8) The real hourly wage of the average wage earner was 
32.2% higher and the real weekly wage 14.3% higher in June, 
1921 than in July^ 1914. Therefore, the economic status of 
the American worker, as measured by real wages, or the pur- 
chasing power of his money earnings, was considerably higher 
in the middle of 1921 than before the war, despite extensive 
wage reductions and curtailments of operation due to indus- 
trial depression. 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



I 

FOUNDRY AND MACHINE-SHOP PRODUCTS^ 

In the metal working industries the wage investigation has 
been separated into four divisions: foundry and machine-shop 
products, agricultural implement manufacturing, automobile 
manufacturing, and electrical apparatus manufacturing. The 
foundry and machine-shop division comprises all establish- 
ments not included under other classifications in the metal 
working group. Foundry and machine-shop processes are neces- 
sarily employed in connection with the manufacture of a great 
variety of products. While there are many establishments 
making well-defined products that might be placed in a sep- 
rate group, there are so many other foundries and machine 
shops making miscellaneous products, that separation into 
these smaller classifications has not been made. On the whole, 
the general classification of foundry and machine-shop prod- 
ucts, exclusive of the three other industries designated above, 
covers the type of establishments studied. Over 80% of the 
wage earners classified in this group by the 1919 Census of 
Manufactures are included in this investigation. Schedules 
were received from 1,552 plants employing 438,594 wage 
earners at the high point in August, 1920. Women were 
employed in 435 plants. The data may therefore be consid- 
ered as exceedingly representative in the coverage of wage 
earners, and in the distribution and size of establishments in- 
volved. The returns are chiefly from the states where the 
largest amount of foundry and machine-shop products are 
made. The geographical distribution within 43 states is as 
follows : 

Alabama 8 Georgia 4 

Alaska 1 Illinois 128 

Arizona 1 Indiana 58 

Arkansas 1 Iowa 22 

California 47 Kansas 7 

Colorado 5 Kentucky 11 

Connecticut 94 Louisiana 3 

Delaware 6 Maine 3 



^Exclusive of agricultural implement, automobile and electrical apparatus 
manufacturing. 

33 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Maryland 8 Oklahoma 5 

Massachusetts 164 Oregon 5 

Michigan 75 Pennsylvania .• . 207 

Minnesota 18 Rhode Island 19 

Missouri 48 South Carolina 1 

Montana 1 Tennessee 8 

Nebraska 4 Texas 10 

Nevada 1 Vermont 6 

New Hampshire 8 Virginia 13 

New Jersey 58 Washington 15 

New Mexico 1 West Virginia 10 

New York. 184 Wisconsin 61 

North Carolina Wyoming 1 

Ohio 218 

Wa^es 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all wage 
earners showed an increase of 137% from July, 1914 to Septem- 
ber, 1920. The decline from the latter month up to July, 
1921 was 13.7%. The period has shown a gradual descent, with 
severer reductions occurring in the spring of 1921. In June, 
1921, composite hourly earnings were 105% above July, 1914. 

In September,. 1920 the hourly earnings for male labor 
showed an increase over 1914 of 155% for common labor and 
133% for skilled labor. The peak for women was reached in Oc- 
tober and November, when the increase was 168%. The de- 
cline for each of these three groups from the peak months up to 
July, 1921 was as follows: 15.6% for common labor, 13.4% for 
skilled labor and 14.9% for women. In June, 1921 the percent- 
ages of increase above July, 1914 for these three groups were 
respectively 115%, 102% and 128%. Relatively, the largest 
increase was found among the female group, while the largest 
amount of decrease was found among the male unskilled wage 
earners. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all wage 
earners increased 135% from July, 1914 to October, 1920 and 
declined 26.5% from the latter period up to July, 1921. The 
decline shows a gradual descent to the beginning of 1921, and 
rather severe reductions during the first six months of the 
year. The decline in weekly earnings was due rather to the 
decrease in hours worked than to severe reductions in hourly 
rates. 

The peak in weekly earnings for common labor was reached 
in August, 1920, when there was shown an increase of 150% 

34 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Mi3 4mM.t»Hn«t uMticMimiMMhMfjM MS jmjj Mimoa tMKc.MHmym m tAsfjM 




3S0 


■ 




INDEX 


NUMBERE 










aes 


• 


























300 




























E79 




























890 


/ 


w 
1 


IME 
> 


>- 






















r 

•m, 


|N 






\ 












ECS 


^ 




^ 


r 


eoo 

1 74 


1 








t 


bS 


£ 


^ 


\ 


•v 








/ 
















\ 


'J* 


y 


s 


^ 


190 
1 B9 


/ 






















/ 


























inQ 


/ 


























« 


1? 


Ui 


LiiE 


LS 


££ 


LH 


US 


i* 


aa 


ua 


Ltf 


ui 


ff'jUH 



IBCI IBI4 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



35 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage E a riser i 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earnera) 


One Week 
In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


AH 
Eitil.l. 


Week 

Per 

Wage 

Earner 


Av. 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera 

tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Eamgs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Eamgs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

[une 

July 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April.... 

May 

June 


226,214 

351,717 
354,432 
355,52^ 
^55,601 
342,00> 
321,67^ 
298,65t> 

262,624 
248,281 
234,361 
218,265 
204,147 
195,34<. 


2^fi,ZN 

4.v3.1.^f 
4,H7,S7^ 
4,.^H,5';4 
43o.><^0 
421,2,>2 
396,(>3: 

3()r),.%75 
2UJU2 


49.4 

50.0 
50.0 
49.9 
48.6 
49.3 
48.0 
47.2 

44.5 
43.2 
42.4 
41.5 
42.1 
41.6 


53.4 

51.6 
51.7 
51.7 
50.8 
50.6 
49.6 
48.1 

45.8 
44.3 
43.7 
42.7 
43.2 
42.7 


54.3 

51.6 
51.5 
51.5 
51.5 
51.5 
51.4 
51.3 

51.2 
51.2 
51.2 
51.2 
51.2 
51.2 


$.274 

.630 

.631 

.634 

.650 

.644 

.637 • 

.641 

.619 
.614 
.593 
.579 

.574 
.561 


$13.52. 

31.5: 
31.5^ 
31.6^. 
31.6: 
31.72 
30. 6C 
30. 2i 

27.52 
26.50 
25.13 
24.01 
24. IC 
23.32 


100 
230 

230 
231 
237 
235 
232 
234 

226 
224 
216 
211 
210 
205 


100 

233 
233 
234 
234 
235 
226 
224 

204 
196 
186 

178 
179 
172 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

over 1914; for skilled labor, in October, 1920, with an increase 
of 134%, and for women, in September, when there was an 
increase of 155%. The declines for these three groups from 
their respective peaks up to July, 1921 were as follows: 28.5% 
for common labor, 26.8% for skilled labor and 27.4% for women. 
In June, 1921 common labor was 79% over 1914, skilled labor, 
72%, and women, 85%. The decline for all groups has been 
severe during the months of 1921, particularly among the 
skilled wage-earning class. 

The decline in hourly earnings reflects the general trend 
toward readjustment in the basic industries. The reduction in 
weekly earnings has been far more severe, due to part-time 
operations. It would appear that while the decline in hourly 
wages has been below the average, the amount of part-time 
operations has seriously affected the weekly income of the 
wage earner. The trend of wages in this group may be con- 

36 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



sidered somewhat as a barometer for fluctuations in the entire 
metal group. 

Employment 

Total employment decreased 44.5% from August, 1920 
up to July, 1921. The reduction in the number of wage 
earners has been severe throughout the entire period from 
the peak to the middle of 1921. The most severe declines, 
however, occurred in the early months of 1921, though no 
particular time can be pointed out as the period of greatest 
depression. The employment situation in this industry re- 
flects the general industrial condition and follows the course 
of the severe stagnation that has occurred since the fall of 
1920. 

The high point of employment for common labor was 
reached in August, for skilled labor in September, and for 
women in July. The decreases in numbers employed for these 
three groups, from the various peaks in 1920, were as follows: 
common labor, 48.6%; skilled labor, 42.7%; women, 50.7%. 
Indications point to the taking over by skilled labor of the 
work formerly done by unskilled labor, and to a general return 
of women from industrial to domestic and other occupations. 

The total number of employees in identical establishments 
increased 55% from July, 1914 to June, 1920. About 14% 

37 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



less wage earners were employed in identical establishments 
in June, 1921 than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

The length of the nominal week in July, 1914 was 54.3 hours. 
Following the general reduction in length of working hours 
during the war period, the week was reduced to 51.6 hours in 
June, 1920. This standard of approximately 513^ hours has 
been maintained throughout 1920-1921. 

The actual week of plant operation shows a reduction from 
53.4 hours in July, 1914 to 51.6 hours in June, 1920. This 
standard was practically maintained until the fall, when de- 
clines began to occur, which continued throughout the entire 
period of the investigation, the trough of 42.7 hours being 
reached in April and June, 1921. The slump in plant activity 
is ascribable directly to the general economic depression in 
the metal working trades. 

The average actual week per wage earner increased from 49.4 
hours in July, 1914 to 50 hours in June, 1920. This level 
was generally maintained until November, when the decline 
in plant activity began to take effect. The declines continued 
to the trough of 41.5 hours in April. A slight revival occurred 
in May, followed again by a slump in June. In the latter 
period there was a loss of almost 10 hours of potential working 
time from the standard or nominal week. 

An analysis of the accompanying charts indicates that 
while the numbers of employed continue to decrease severely, 
those that were kept on the payrolls were working approxi- 
mately the average hours of plant operation. An attempt, 
therefore, would seem to have been made by management to 
keep the weekly earnings of the employed wage earner at a 
reasonable level. 

Conclusion 

The foundry and machine-shop group, the largest and most 
important covered in this investigation, may be taken as a 
barometer of general wage conditions, and careful comparison 
should be made with the other industrial groups in this report. 
Specifically, the investigation shows, in this industry: 

1. A decline in hourly earnings below general industrial 
deflation. (13.7%.) 

38 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 






o 






► 2 s 
<^x 






^.S 



<§ 



8 

I 



Q 












i 



1 

I 



is 2 






ia 



Q 



2: 

< 






4i 



> 2 2 






Q 
O 

S 






s 



10 10 10 10 »0 t|< CO 
CS CM CN CS <>! CM CM 



THt^ ro fO »0 to 

cq <>! cs *H *H — I 



c5 0000^^0 

'--I <>! CN CS CS Ol CN Ol 



lO ^ Tf fO CO «S 
CN CS <S CN Ol CS 



ts. 



*H t^ 10 *H Q r^ VO 
00 O^ 00 «H o ^ Ov 

r* r^ r^ 00 00 <^ vo 



OOcsi0 23JT^ 
r* r^ T|< r^ 00 ^ 

10 Tfi T|< CO CO CO 



00 O O 00\oo O 
t^ 00 00 00 00 00 00 
CO CO CO CO CO CO CO 



CN CO 0\ 0\ CO '-^ O 



CO 00€S *H 0\t^ 

CS O '-^ Q Q Ov 
^ ^ tJ< ^ ^ CO 



oo 



Tf vO CO 0\ g ^ c 
r* S 10 000 vO V 



Q to 1000 ^ CN 

00 Ot^ CO "^00 
10 to Tif"^co cT 



s 



CO CM CO CS tJ< 10 CO 

c^ CO CO CO CO CN r^ 
r«i oi CN rs cs cs CN 



CO OtO 000 CM 

O Os 00 t^r*t^ 



8 



vor^ t^ cocN 0\ O 

CM CM CS CO CO CN CO 
CM CM CM CM CM CM CM 



CM^cooot;*rq 

CM CM^OOO 
CM CM CM CM CM CM 






U 



D 0\ t^ CM ^ 00 
3 00 00 On 0\ 

5 ot^«^ o o 



CO O^ vp 0\ O CM 
r^ VO-^CMCM^ 

O ^ vO O O O 



On 00 0\ to CO 0\ CM 



OcococoO-'t 



to 



CM 00 t^ CO ^ O i-t 
t^ 0\ O CM to *H 1FH 
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r-T CO Tf vOt^ -^jTtC 
0\ 0\ Ov On 00 1«- to 

CM CM CM CM CM CM CM 



OOOOOTf OTt 
000 On CO CO CM 
*H Oco OCMO 

odotoQoo qC 

CM ^ O ^ t^ O 
CM CM C^< »-< *H *H 



s 



0\ op O O '** T»< 00 
<<t ^ to to ^ CO CM 
CM CM CM CM CM CM CM 



SvOO to CO 0\ 
On ^ 00 oc5r* 

CM 1FH T-* ^ 1FH ^ 



8 



to *Hr^ Tf *H 10 

CO CO CM CM CM^ 
CM CM CM CM CM CM 



lOr^iOOOOOQ OOOiO-^CMO 

t^vO0000*HO^ O r* *H VO -^t On 



ts. 

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to CO On CO ^ to CO 
^ ^ Tf to ^ CO CO 

10 to to to to to to 



^ CM COt^ 0\ t^ 



OvOvt^coOoO O 

10 to ^ lO to T|4 T|4 



t!< Tf On CO O O 
^ CO CM CM CM CM 



2i 



> to Tji 00 CM 00 ^ 

St^ ^ *H Q CO 
t!<00\0 O 



oTto *H t>r^cr 

r>» t» r>» vO vo ^ 



I 









a 
a 






o\ 



39 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



2. A large reduction in weekly earnings due to part-time 
operations. (26.5%.) 

3. A tremendous decline in total employment between the 
summer of 1920 and the spring of 1921. (44.5%.) 

4. A loss of about 20% in working time or a reduction of 
10 hours from the nominal standard 513^ hour week. 

5. The condition of the industry affected all three groups — 
common and skilled male labor, and women. Unskilled and 
skilled wage earners appeared to be more or less equally 
affected. 

6. The large number of female wage earners leaving the 
industry have evidently returned to domestic occupations. 

7. The trough period of depression occurred at the clo^^ 
of the period covered by this investigation, (June, 1921). 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



II 



AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in the automobile industry in- 
cludes establishments manufacturing and assembling com- 
plete automobiles, both passenger cars and motor trucks, and 
also plants producing automotive parts. The latter group, 
however, covers plants engaged only in manufacturing parts 
directly used by the automobile industry, and does not include 
jobbers, dealers or rubber tire manufacturers. Returns were 
received from 101 plants, employing 107,301 wage earners 
at the high point in June, 1920. Women were employed in 
62 of these plants. Approximately 27% of the wage earners 
listed by the 1919 Census of Manufactures as then employed 
in this industry are covered by this report. The geographical 
distribution in 13 states is as follows: 



State 


Trucks 


Passenger 


Automotive 
Parts 


Total 


California 


1 

2 
3 

i 

2 
2 

2 


1 

2 
8 
1 

8 
2 

"i 

4 
6 

1 
3 


2 
2 

7 
5 
11 
2 
1 
1 
8 
6 
3 
3 


2 


Connecticut 


2 


Illinois 


6 


Indiana 


15 


Massachusetts 


6 


Michigan 


22 


Missouri 


4 


Nebraska 


1 


New Tersev 


3 


New York 


14 


Ohio 


14 


Pennsylvania 


6 


Wisconsin 


6 






Grand Total 


13 


37 


51 


101 







Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all wage 
earners showed an increase of 141% from July, 1914 to Sep- 
tember, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 
1921 was 16.9%. In June, 1921 the increase was 100% 

41 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



over July, 1914. The period between June, 1920 and the 
peak in September was characterized by a very slight increase. 
The decline during the closing months of 1920 became severe, 
and continued, though more gradually, up to July, 1921. 

At their peak in October, 1920 the hourly earnings of 
common labor had increased 159% over July, 1914. In June, 
1920, the hourly earnings oi skilled labor had increased 147% 
over 1914. The high point for women was reached in Sep- 
tember, 1920, when there was shown an increase of 71% 
over 1914. The decreases for the three groups from the peak 
months up to July, 1921, were 16.8% for common labor y 
18.9% for skilled labor and 17.9% for women. In June, 1921 
the percentages of increase over July, 1914 for these three 
groups were 115%, 101% and 40%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all wage 
earners increased 119% from July, 1914 to July, 1920, and 
declined 26% from the latter period up to July, 1921, show- 
ing a net increase of only 62% at the latter period. There 
was a slight increase from June to July, 1920, followed by 
sharp declines during the last six months of 1920. A trough 
was reached in January, followed by a revival through April, 
and another sharp slump in May and June, 1921. 

The high point of weekly earnings for male labor was 
reached in July, 1920, when common labor was 131% and 
skilled labor 122% above 1914. The high point in weekly 
earnings for women was reached in September, when there 
was shown an increase of 61% over 1914. The decreases for 
these three groups from their respective peaks up to July, 
1921 were as follows: common labor, 27.8%; skilled labor, 
25.9%; women, 23.7%. In June, 1921 the percentages of 
increase over 1914 for these three groups were respectively 
67%, 65% and 23%. 

Employment 

Total employment in the automobile industry decreased 
52-3% from June, 1920 up to July, 1921. The decline 
from June, 1920 to the severe trough at the beginning of 
1921 was 65.4%. The depression period was followed by a 
marked revival, which reached its peak in May, followed by 
a considerable slump in June. The increase between the 
trough in January and June amounted to 38%. The de- 

42 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKIffABK HOURLY KARNINBB 




IBSI IBU 1880 

AVE0AQC WEKKkV CAHNlNeS 



3B9 






INDE» 


NUMBERS 




































300 


















































































ESO 


- 


Ud 

J 




7 


^D 


















aDD 


s^ 


:^ 


^ 


■s 


'^1 






y 


s 






/ 


AU 


«H 


1 1 




is 


N 


N 


/ 


/ 

^ 


»■ 


^i 


k 


150 


X 


^. 


to 


/ 


\ 






\/ 


fl 


•Ui 


1 

C0 


^ 








^ 


b>H 


'% 


\ i 


•^S 


^, 




1 Da 


I'' 














y 








iUg 


y jnuLUimaTHyR 


: JiKfl 


LUIA 


ri^ 


bit 


1ff|4. IHSD 


1 


M 











(National Industrial Conference Board) 



43 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


■ 

No. Wace Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wi 
(AllWagf 


Earners 


) 








Av. 


Av. 








Index Nos. 


One 


1914-21 


Total 


Week 


Hours 


Nom> 


Av. 


Av. 


Earnings 


Week 


FaffakI 


All 


Per 


Plant 


inal 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 






In 


cnaDi . 


Establ. 


Wage 
Earner 


Opera- 
tion 


inai 
Week 


Earngs. 


Earngs. 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


I9I4 




















JuIyV. 


24^97 


24^97 


53.6 


54.3 


54.7 


$.293 


$15.71 


100 


100 


1920 




















une . . . 

:uiy... 


80,291 


107,301 


47.8 


50.3 


50.8 


.701 


33.50 


239 


213 


80,271 


106,657 


48.7 


49.7 


50.8 


.703 


34.34 


240 


219 


Aug. . . 


70,890 


95,982 


47.8 


49.1 


50.8 


.704 


33.68 


240 


214 


Sept . . . 


63,006 


81,869 


47.5 


48.7 


50.8 


.705 


33.50 


241 


213 


Oct.... 


48,910 


59,725 


45.1 


47.0 


50.9 


.693 


31.24 


237 


199 


Nov... 


38,833 


48,370 


43.9 


46.6 


51.0 


.671 


29.42 


229 


187 


Dec... 


31,572 


40,713 


42.9 


45.8 


51.0 


.649 


27.83 


222 


177 


J92I 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


28,896 


37,076 


39.1 


40.0 


51.0 


.632 


24.72 


216 


157 


31,340 


39,984 


42.2 


42.3 


51.0 


.628 


26.52 


214 


169 


March . 


35,489 


46,181 


46.6 


45.4 


51.0 


.623 


29.05 


213 


185 


April.. . 
May. . . 


40,004 


52,870 


46.8 


45.0 


51.0 


.616 


28.84 


210 


184 


39,409 


53,666 


43.5 


45.9 


51.1 


.611 


26.55 


209 


169 


June . . . 


37,268 


51,178 


43.3 


43.3 


51.1 


.586 


25.40 


200 


162 



*1914-21 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

creases in the groups from the high point of employment 
up to July, 1921 were as follows: common labor, 55.2%; 
skilled labor, 51.2%; women, 58.8%. 

The increase in employment between July, 1914 and June, 
1920, in identical establishments, was 229%. There was a 
net increase of 53% in employment between July, 1914, and 
June, 1921. The tremendous expansion of the automobile 
industry between 1914 and 1920 prevented employment 
during the depression period from dropping to the level of 1914. 

Hours 

The hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 54.7. 
Following the general reduction in length of working hours 
during the war period, the week was reduced to approximately 
51 hours in June, 1920, and the latter standard has been main- 
tained throughout 1920-1921. 

The actual week oj plant operation dropped from 54.3 hours 

44 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




Mil IBM. itn 

(Naticnal Industrial Ccnference Board) 



in July, 1914 to 50.3 hours in June, 1920. A gradual decline 
occurred during the next months. In December, 1920 the 
hours fell to 45.8 per week, followed by a sharp decline in 
January to 40 hours. Plant activity increased during the 
spring of 1920, but declined again in June. 

The actual week per wage earner declined from 53.6 hours in 
July, 1914 to 47.8 in June, 1920. The low point of 39.1 hours 
was reached in January. In June, 1921 the average wage 
earner was working almost eight hours less than the standard 
week. 

Conclusion 

1. The peak occurred in the middle of 1920; the trough 
period in January, 1921; a revival period <iuring the spring 
months; and a slump in June, 1921. This trend was reflected 
alike in wages, hours, and employment. 

2. Decline in hourly earnings has been more rapid than 
in the majority of basic industries, amounting to 17%. 

3. The decrease in weekly earnings has been extensive 
(26%) due to the amount of part-time operation. 

4. Increased employment was evidenced in the early 
months of 1921, but domestic buying conditions and the 
foreign credit situation have forced extended retrenchments. 

45 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 









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46 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Ill 

AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish- 
ments manufacturing plows, cultivators, tractors, harvesting 
implements, etc. It includes also several plants where, in 
addition to agricultural implements, other products not dis- 
tinctly agricultural, such as wind-mills, carriages and wagons, 
are made. The classification practically follows that of the 
United States Census of Manufactures. Returns were received 
from 138 plants, employing at the peak in 1920, 49,704 wage 
earners. Women were employed in 35 of these plants. Ap- 
proximately 86% of the wage earners listed in the 1919 Census 
of Manufactures in this industry are covered in this report. 
The geographical distribution within 19 states is as follows: 

Arkansas 1 Missouri 4 

California 5 Nebraska 2 

Georgia 5 New Jersey 1 

Illinois 26 New York 17 

Indiana 9 Ohio 15 

Iowa 12 Pennsylvania 6 

Kansas 1 Tennessee 1 

Kentucky 4 Virginia 1 

Michigan 2 Wisconsin 19 

Minnesota 7 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 167% from July, 1914 to the high point 
in September, 1920. The decline from the latter period 
up to July, 1921 was 22.9%. At that time the increase 
was 106% over July, 1914. The period from November, 1920 
to the middle of 1921 was characterized by severe declines, the 
average total cut being 15 cents per hour. 

In August, 1920 the hourly earnings of common labor had 
increased 169% over July, 1914; in September, those o( skilled 
labor, 1(56%, and in the same month, those of women, 194%. 
The decline for each of these groups from the peak months up 

47 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



to July, 1921 was 21.4% for common labor, 22.8% for skilled 
labor, and 21.7% for women. The percentages of increase 
above July, 1914 for these three groups were respectively 
112%, 105% and 130%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 154% from July, 1914 to the high 
point in September, 1920, and from the latter period up to 
July, 1921, declined 38%, showing a net increase of 57% to 
the middle of 1921. There was a rise during the summer 
months of 1920, while sharp declines occurred at the close of 
1920 and continued through 1921. 

The high point of weekly earnings for common labor was 
reached in August, 1920, when the increase was 162% over 
1914. The peak for skHled labor was reached in September, 
when the increase was 151%, and for women in October, when 
the increase was 190%. The declines for these three groups 
from their respective peaks up to July, 1921 were as follows: 
common labor, 38.8%; skilled labor, 37.5%; women, 34.4%. 
Percentage increases above 1914 for these three groups were 
respectively 60%, 57% and 90%. 

Employment 

The total employment in this industry decreased 66% from 
the high point in September, 1920 up to July, 1921. Em- 
ployment was practically stationary in the summer and 
early fall of 1920. Extensive reductions in working forces 
began at the close of 1920, and continued throughout the 
first six months of 1921. The decreases in the groups from the 
/high point of employmient up to July, 1921 were as follows: 
common labor, 65.3%; skilled labor, 67.3%; women, 47.9%. 
The total number of employees in identical establishments 
increased 41% between July, 1914 and September, 1920, 
while 52% fewer employees were engaged in identical estab- 
lishments in June, 1921 than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
56.3. Folloinwg the general reduction in length of working 
hours during the war period, the week was reduced to 53.7 
hours in June, 1920. The standard of approximately 53 hours 

48 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(Naticnal Industrial Ccnference Board) 



49 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average 
Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 


One 

Week 

In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


Av. 

Week 

Per 

Earner 


Hours 
Plant 

Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 

Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 

July*.. 

1920 
. une. . . 

. "Jy . . • 

Aug. . . . 
Sept . . . 
Oct.... 
Nov... 
Dec... 

1921 
Jan.... 
Feb.... 
March . 
April.. . 
May. . . 
June. . . 


31,823 

44,439 
43,873 
44,442 
44,983 
44,622 
44,898 
40,158 

37,978 
34,835 
32,029 
25,800 
19,140 
15,351 


31,823 

49,132 
48,791 
49,361 
49,704 
49,062 
48,875 
42,997 

40,795 

37,881 
34,873 
27,687 
20,742 
16,801 


51.6 

50.0 
49.3 
49.4 
49.0 
49.2 
48.9 
45.7 

43.3 
41.0 
41.0 
40.6 
39.6 
39.4 


52.2 

50.9 
50.5 
50.8 
50.5 
50.2 
49.5 
46.5 

44.5 
40.6 
41.5 
40.5 
39.1 
39.3 


56.3 

53.7 
53.6 
53.5 
53.5 
53.5 
53.5 
53.4 

53.2 
53.1 
53.1 
53.1 
53.1 
53.1 


$.260 

.670 
.676 
.688 
.694 
.683 
.685 
.671 

.656 
.641 
.634 
.560 
.544 
.535 


$13.41 

33.49 
33.39 
34.00 
34.02 
33.65 
33.51 
30.67 

28.40 
26.28 
26.01 
22.74 
21.55 
21.09 


100 

258 
260 
265 
267 
263 
263 
258 

252 
247 
245 
215 
209 
206 


100 

250 
249 
254 
254 
251 
250 
229 

212 
196 
194 
170 
161 
157 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

has been fairly steadily maintained throughout 1920-1921. 

The actual week oj plant operation shows a reduction from 
52 2 hours in July, 1914 to 50.9 hours in June, 1920. There 
was a gradual decline in plant activity during the fall of 1920. 
The depression period began in December, 1920, and con- 
tinued through May, 1921. At that time there was a decline 
of over 11 hours per week in plant operation from the pre- 
ceding year. A slight recovery was noted in June, 1921. 

The average actual week per wage earner showed a decline 
from 51.6 hours in July, 1914 to 50 hours in June, 1920. 
After further decline, an average of approximately 49 hours 
was maintained up to December, when the depression began 
to take effect. The average hours continued to decline in 
1921, till June, when the average wage earner was working 
over 10 hours less per i^reek than at a corresponding time in 
the preceding year. 

50 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



30 
45 


r NUMBER Of 


^^n:lAffNn8 


~ 


40 


1 


n\ 






39 


1 
1 
1 


's 






30 


r 


\ \ 


\ 




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\ 


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r 


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IBSI 


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20 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 

Conclusion 

No industry has more clearly shown the effect of the indus- 
trial depression. Two factors, at least, have been the cause 
of the great decline in earnings, employment, and plant activ- 
ity. The deflation in the prices of farm products resulted in 
a curtailment in the buying power and credit of farmers and a 
practical stagnation in the agricultural implement market. 
However, the depression has not been due altogether to domes- 
tic conditions, but has also been largely influenced by the 
foreign situation, for the condition of foreign credits and stop- 
page of foreign orders for the buying of agricultural imple- 
ments, has largely cut off exportation. Specifically, the in- 
vestigation has shown: 

1. A continuous and severe deflation in wages beginning 
in the fall of 1920, and amounting in the middle of 1921 to a 
23% decline in hourly earnings and a 38% decline in weekly 
earnings. 

2. Approximately 60% of the wage earners were laid off 
during the first six months of 1921. The industrial depression 
also forced many plants to shut down altogether or greatly to 
curtail operation. 

3. As a result of both domestic and foreign conditions, this 
industry has been severely affected by the industrial de- 
pression. 

51 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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52 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



IV 

ELECTRICAL APPARATUS MANUFACTURING 

In this group the wage investigation covers establishments 
engaged in the manufacturing of electrical apparatus, elec- 
trical machinery and electrical appliances. So far as possible, 
the study has been restricted to manufacturers of electrical 
equipment and supplies, not including manufacturers who 
assemble this class of material with other products. The 
survey covers no establishments engaged in jobbing in either 
wholesale or retail trade. Schedules were received from 107 
plants, employing 88,225 wage earners in October, 1920. 
Women were employed in 73 plants. Approximately 35% 
of the wage earners listed in the 1919 Census of Manufactures 
as being employed in this industry are included in this report. 
The real coverage is even greater, as the Census covers estab- 
lishments engaged in miscellaneous manufacturing that have 
not been included in this investigation. The data are con- 
sidered representative of the electrical industry as to the 
percentage of wage earners covered and distribution and size 
of establishments involved. The geographical distribution 
within 19 states is as follows: 

California 3 Missouri 2 

Connecticut 7 New Hampshire 1 

Illinois 14 New Jersey 8 

Indiana 3 New York 9 

Iowa 1 Ohio 15 

Kentucky 1 Pennsylvania 13 

Maryland 1 Tennessee 1 

Massachusetts 13 Washington 2 

Michigan 7 Wisconsin 5 

Minnesota 1 

The sectional distribution is as follows: New England States, 
21; Middle Atlantic, 30; South Atlantic, 1; East North Cen- 
tral, 44; West North Central, 4; East South Central, 2; 
Pacific, 5. 

53 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all wage 
earners show an increase of 132% from July, 1914 to October, 
1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 was 
11.1%. In June, 1921 the increase was 106%over July, 1914. 
The peak was reached in the fall of 1920, followed by a gradual 
decline through February, 1921. In March general wage re- 
ductions forced hourly earnings downwards, followed by a 
slight revival in May and June. In November, 1920 hourly 
earnings of common labor had increased 155% over July, 1914. 
In October skilled labor had increased 133%, and in September 
women 143% over 1914. The high point of hourly earnings 
for women was found in both June and September, 1920. 
The decline from these various high points for the diflFerent 
groups amounted to 14.1% for common labor, 11.9% for skilled 
labor and 14.9% for women. In June, 1921 the percentages of 
increase over July, 1914 for the three groups were respectively 
119%, 106% and 107%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all wage 
earners increased 123% from July, 1914 to October, 1920, 
and from the latter period up to July, 1921 declined 21.8%, 
showing a net increase to the first of July, 1921 of 74% 
over July, 1914. The high point of weekly earnings for the 
male labor group was reached in October, 1920, when common 
labor was 142%, and skilled labor 128%, above 1914. The 
peak for women was reached in November, when their earn- 
ings had increased 125% over 1914. The decline from the 
high point for each of the various groups up to July, 1921 
was 22.7% for common labor y 23.1% iov skilled labor y and 25.7% 
for women. In June, 1921 the percentage increases over 1914 
for these three groups were respectively 87%, 76% and 67%. 

It will be noted that the composite index number for both 
hourly and weekly earnings was lower in various periods than 
the index numbers for the three groups separately in the same 
periods. This was due to the fact that the distribution in the 
groups varied from month to month and was diflFerent from 
the distribution in 1914. The total working force, total pay- 
roll and hours modified the composite figures in a slightly 
diflFerent way than the figures for each of the three groups. 

In general, hourly earnings have decreased less than in most 

54 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




HOURLY KARNINBB 

^^^^'^^ INDEX NUMBCPa 



J9U 


























@ 






























3DD 




























B7a 








M 


M-l 


MM 
••• 




} 












ESQ 


-1 


MEI 




XO 


Wl 


MEN 




\ 


\ 


\ 








265 










tu. 


WMQ 


L & 


BW 


an 

M ' 


eoQ 


















1 /S 




























ISO 




























1 BS 


1 


























LY 




noc 


TNOVDI 


jCJAMF 


[IMABA 


IM*f^ 



1014 I BED 



AVKPABK WKKKLV KARNINSS 

iNoex 



30 
4^ 
























n 




40 
39 






















































I 






,**• 
.^ 


z 


CAM 


««a 


'X 


s 










30 

as 

SO 
IS 
10 

5 




At 


! 
1 j: 


" 


MM 


— 1 


MLLCO 


■s 


s 


S 


V 




ML1 


ro 


Ij; 


















\ 


*» 


^ 


^ 


li / 


-' 


WMl 




•- 






*> 


> 


X 








'■/ 
















• 








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/ 



















































hi 


iTiL 


JU 


ix 


«IJUL«UbXl 


rrocTN, 


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(National Industrial Conference Board) 



NUMBCM 

350 
38S 
300 






INOEX 


NUMBERS 
























































































SSO 

aes 

aoo 

I7S 
ISO 
IBS 
100 




























-h 


ME 


MEN 

f I. 


LCD 


LLU 


\ 














2 


AL 


IK" 


UK 


EAm 


en 


^ 


s 


\ 




















s 


^ 


2S 

CN 


>!! 




















wS, 


j 
























1 






















'"s 


V 


IflJI 


L AU 


iX 


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»M 


rjiN 


IBM 


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» 










1 


as 


1 









55 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 








Av. 


Av. 








Index Nos. 


Om 


1914 


Total 


Week 


Hours 


Nom- 


Av. 


Av. 


Earnings 


Week 


1921 
Ettab. 


All 
Estab. 


Per 
Wage 


Plant 
Opera- 


inal 
Week 


Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Wkly. 
Earngs. 




In 












Earner 


tion 








Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 




















JuiyV. 


42,114 


42,114 


49.5 


53.7 


53.6 


$.272 


$13.48 


100 


100 


1920 




















. unc. . . 
.uly... 


71,082 


85,248 


47 A 


49.1 


50.0 


.610 


28.91 


224 


215 


71,881 


86,360 


47.5 


49.0 


50.0 


.610 


28.96 


224 


215 


Aug — 


70,993 


86,151 


47.1 


48.9 


50.0 


.617 


29.07 


227 


216 


Sept... 


71,441 


87,263 


47.5 


49.0 


50.0 


.625 


29.67 


230 


220 


Oct.... 


72,147 


88,225 


47.7 


49.1 


50.0 


.630 


30.04 


232 


223 


Nov... 


71,680 


86,815 


47.9 


48.8 


50.0 


.621 


29.77 


228 


221 


Dec... 


70,122 


84,171 


47.2 


48.5 


50.0 


.619 


29.25 


228 


217 


1921 




















te-.::: 


65,699 


78,116 


46.0 


48.0 


50.2 


.612 


28.20 


225 


209 


58,680 


69,580 


45.6 


47.2 


50.1 


.590 


26.91 


217 


200 


March . 


55,210 


65,462 


43.9 


47.2 


50.1 


.558 


24.49 


205 


182 


April... 
May. . . 


50,817 


60,673 


42.8 


47.1 


50.1 


.559 


23.92 


205 


178 


47,921 


57,516 


42.8 


46.8 


50.1 


.562 


23.99 


207 


178 


June . . . 


45.525 


54,829 


41.9 


46.9 


50.1 


.560 


23.49 


206 


174 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

basic industries covered in this investigation. The slight de- 
cline is in sharp contrast with decreases in contingent metal 
trades. However, while hourly earnings have decreased 
moderately, reductions in weekly earnings are above the general 
average in many industries. The drop in weekly earnings 
has been the result of extensive part-time operations. 

Employment 

The total decline in employment from the peak in October, 
1920 up to July, 1921 was 38%. The general trend shows 
an increase of 3.5% in total employment from June to Oc- 
tober, 1920, followed by large reductions, particularly at the 
beginning of 1921. The decline from the high point of em- 
ployment up to July, 1921, by groups, was as follows: un- 
skilled labor, 46%; skilled labor, 34%; women, 48%. The 

56 



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jwj<.<u63Pia:TMWDec jMifnM««w>ww .uy jwjul Autxnecxtm at jw fmmm4PB mbtjum 

1820 isei IBI4. leeo lui 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 

decline in the number of women employed indicates a general 
movement of women to return to homes and other occupations 
from wartime employment. 

The electrical manufacturing industry expanded tremen- 
dously between July, 1914, and the general peak in 1920. 
The number of people employed in identical establishments 
increased 71%. Comparison of employment in 1921 with 
1914 shows a slight increase, but due recognition must be given 
to the effect of the tremendous expansion of the industry up 
to the peak in 1920. The large decline in total employment 
reflects clearly the effect of the industrial depression upon 
the electrical manufacturing industry. The movement of the 
industry shows large reductions in working forces, accom- 
panied by part-time operations, rather than a large amount of 
wage cutting. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
53.6. A general reduction of working hours took place during 
the war period, and in June, 1920 they had fallen to 50 hours 
per week. This nominal week remained practically stationary 
up to July, 1921. 

The hours of plant operation showed a reduction from 53.7 

57 



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in July, 1914, to 49.1 in June, 1920. The latter average was 
generally maintained till the close of 1920, when a decline 
set in, which continued up to July, 1921, the average being 
46.9 hours at the latter period. 

The actual week per wage earner shows a decline from 49.5 
hours in July, 1914 to 47.4 hours in June, 1920. This ob- 
viously follows the trend of reduction in the actual week of 
plant operation and in the nominal week. A decline in the 
actual week per wage earner started in January and continued 
through June, the average wage earner working in the latter 
period 4.1 hours less per week than at the beginning of the 
year. The greatest loss occurred in the skilled group, who 
worked an average of six hours less per week in June, 1921 
than a year previously. A careful analysis of the chart of 
"Average Hours of Work" reveals the industrial and economic 
situation in this industry most distinctly. 

Conclusion 

1. Decrease in hourly earnings has been slower than in 
most basic industries, though part-time operations have forced 
large reductions in weekly earnings. The entire wage situa- 
tion is dominated by the decline in employment and loss of 
hours in plant activity. 

2. Total employment declined 38% from the peak in 
October, 1920 to the middle of 1921. 

3. There was a total increase of 71% in employment in 
identical establishments between July, 1914 and October, 1920. 
Total employment in June, 1921 was only slightly above that 
for July, 1914. The large drop in employment did not quite 
bring the number of wage earners employed in the industry 
down to the 1914 level. 

4. The length of the nominal week declined about three 
and one half hours from July, 1914 up to July, 1921. 

5. The hours of plant operation closely follow the trend 
in the hours of the nominal week from July, 1914 to July, 
1920. Since the beginning of 1921, there was practically a 
continual depression in plant activity, bringing the level down 
to slightly over 47 hours per week. 

6. There was a loss in potential working time of five 
hours per wage earner in June, 1921. 

58 



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59 



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7. The industry has been affected as greatly by economic 
depression as any basic industry. The method of procedure 
by management to meet conditions has resulted in a tre- 
mendous decline in employment and a large amount of part- 
time operations. Wage conditions have been directly in- 
fluenced by these factors. 

8. The wage and employment declines in the industry are 
smaller than in related metal trades, such as the foundry 
and machine-shop group, automobiles and agricultural im- 
plements. 



60 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



IRON AND STEEL MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in the iron and steel industry in- 
cludes blast furnaces and rolling mills, engaged in the manu- 
facture of pig iron, wrought iron and rolled steel products. 
Schedules were received from 70 plants, employing 51,864 
wage earners at the high point in October, 1920. While no 
schedules were received from plants controlled by the United 
States Steel Corporation, the report is representative of con- 
ditions in independent plants. The geographical distribution 
within 14 states is as follows: 

California 2 New Jersey 2 

Connecticut 1 New York 1 

Illinois. 4 Ohio 19 

Indiana 2 Pennsylvania 27 

Kentucky 2 Tennessee 1 

Michigan 1 West Virginia 6 

Massachusetts 1 Wisconsin 1 

Manufacturing conditions in the iron and steel industry 
make impossible the compilation of information similar to that 
for other industrial groups contained in this report. In iron 
and steel plants the varying hours of work, the irregular shift 
system, the mixture of piece, day and tonnage work, prevents 
the accurate compilation of wage data covering the actual 
hours of work per wage earner, hourly earnings, or the hours 
of the regular work week. The data for the general group 
of 70 plants covered in the report has, therefore, been confined 
to a discussion of weekly earnings, plant hours and employ- 
ment. Fifty-four of the 70 plants furnished accurate data 
covering the actual week per wage earner, hourly and weekly 
earnings. The latter group, therefore, has been put in the 
table covering general classified material. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: The study of hourly earnings has 
been confined to data furnished by 54 plants. Composite 
hourly earnings of all wage earners in 54 plants showed an in- 

61 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



crease of 201% from July, 1914 to November, 1920, and 
declined 29.7% from the latter period up to July, 1921, leav- 
ing a net increase of 112%. In these plants, the hourly earn- 
ings of common labor showed an increase of 185% from July, 
1914 to July, 1920, while those of skilled labor showed an 
increase of 206% in November, 1920. The declines for these 
two groups from the peak months up to July, 1921, were 
25% for common labor and 29.8% for skilled labor. The most 
marked decreases took place at the beginning of 1921 and 
sharp declines occurred in June. In June, 1921, the hourly 
earnings of common labor were still 113% above 1914 and those 
of skilled labor, 115%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners in 70 plants increased 190% from July, 1914, to 
August, 1920, and declined 48.1% from the latter period 
up to July, 1921, leaving a net increase of 50% in June. 
Weekly earnings were well maintained through November, 
1920, but beginning in December sharp declines occurred. The 
spring months were characterized by large declines, chiefly 
due to the shutting down of many blast furnaces. 

In 54 plants the weekly earnings of common labor increased 
192% from July, 1914 to October, 1920, while those of 
skilled labor had increased 226% in August, 1920. The per- 
centages of decline for the two groups from the peak months 
up to July, 1921, were 43.3% for common labor and 53.1% 
for skilled labor. In June, 1921, the weekly earnings of com- 
mon labor were still 66% above 1914, while those of skilled 
labor were 53% above 1914. The amount of decline in weekly 
earnings has been more extensive than in any other basic 
industry. This has been due chiefly to curtailment of plant 
activity and the shutting down of many blast furnaces and 
rolling mills. The cessation of domestic and foreign demand 
in metal trades is, perhaps, the most direct cause of industrial 
stagnation. 

Employment 

The total number of wage earners employed in 70 plants 
decreased 48% from October, 1920 up to July, 1921. Un- 
employment began in November, 1920, followed by further 
reductions in December and January, 1921. Slight improve- 
ment was noted in March and again in May, but the un- 

62 



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AVKVABK 

ACTUAL fiaURES 



HOURLY, KARNINBS 

INDEX NUMBEPS 




_ JUWJW. AUGJOTOCT NOKIieCJAKFEtM 

II14 leea isei 



AVKPABK WKKKLV 

INOCX 

ACTUAL F IBUPE3 

m 



KARNINSa 

INDEX NUMBEPS 




IDOI 1 I— 

JUJJ JUlJt 

IBSI 1814 1880 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



63 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 

(70 Plants) 



Period 



No. Wage Earners 
Employed 



Average 
Hours 



Wage* 
(All Wage Earners) 



One Week In 



1914-21 
Establ. 



Total 

All 

Establ. 



Av. 
Week 

per 
Wage 
Earner 



Av. 

Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 



Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs 



Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 



Index Not. 
Earnings 



Hrly. 



Wkly. 



1914 
July* 

1920 

June 

July 

August. . . , 
September 
October . . . 
November 
December . 

1921 
January. . , 
February. , 
March . . . , 

April 

May 

June 



17,m 



31,549 
28,152 
28,056 
28,105 
29,012 
27,320 
22,511 



20,162 
18,486 
18,234 
15,241 
16,016 
14,865 



17,885 



51,460 
49,304 
50,056 
50,443 
51,864 
49,234 
38,829 



33,797 
28,480 
29,217 
25,536 
28,676 
26,970 



56.4 



57.7 
58.3 
60.1 
59.0 
59.6 
57.1 
52.3 



51.5 
53.4 
50.2 
46.5 
47.1 
41.6 



115.1 



126.5 
131.2 
132.2 
128.9 
128.1 
121.7 
123.6 



121.4 
121.6 
110.5 

96.6 
105.1 

96.3 



$.2J6 



.672 
.689 
.696 
.705 
.705 
.711 
.636 



.639 
.601 
.568 
.561 
.569 
.500 



$12.90 



35.45 
35.79 
37.35 
36.76 
37.22 
35.62 
30.14 



27.37 
26.77 
24.82 
23.74 
23.61 
19.38 



100 



285 
292 
295 
299 
299 
301 
269 



271 
255 
241 
238 
241 
212 



100 



275 
277 
290 
285 
289 
276 
234 



212 
208 
192 
184 
183 
150 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 
**54 plants only. 



certain condition of the metal market unquestionably caused 
these fluctuations. 

In 54 plants common labor decreased 52.9% from June, 
1920 up to July, 1921, while skilled labor declined 57.5% 
during the same period. The depression period, therefore, 
has aflPected the skilled group even more severely than common 
labor. 

In the 40 identical plants that furnished information for 
1914-1921, there was an increase of 76.4% in employment 
between July, 1914 and June, 1920. However, the low 
activity of industry in July, 1914, must be considered, and the 
above percentage does not reflect the normal expansion of the 
industry during the six-year period. In June, 1921, the total 

64 



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"*5^ NUMBER OF WAQC 1 


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(National Industrial Conference Board) 



number of people employed in identical establishments was 
16.9% lower than in July, 1914. The industrial depression, 
therefore, had driven this industry below the 1914 level. 

Hours 

Average hours of the nominal week can not be calculated, as 
there is a great variety in standard hours, ranging from 60 to 
84 per week. 

Iron and steel manufacturing is primarily an industry of 
continuous operation. The standard week of production 
would, therefore, be 168 hours. The full productive week, how- 
ever, generally ranges from 144 to 168 hours. In July, 1914 
the average hours of plant operation were 115.1. This was a 
period of depression. In June, 1920 the hours of plant opera- 
tion had increased to 126.5 per week and the summer and early 
fall of 1920 saw an even greater increase in plant activity. The 
closing months of 1920 were characterized by considerable 
depression, but it was not until the spring of 1921 that indus- 
trial stagnation became severe. In March, plant hours had 
fallen to 110.5 per week and in April they went to a still lower 
level of 96.6 hours. May was characterized by a temporary 
revival to 105.1 hours, but June again showed depression to 

65 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



96.3 hours. The condition of the industry is thus clearly 
reflected in the analysis of th<^ hours of plant operation. 

The average week per wage earner in 54 plants was 56.4 hours 
in July, 1914. In June, 1920 the hours increased to 57.7, 
and continued at a high level through November. In 1921, 
the hours continually shrank till June, when there was a decline 
to 41.6 hours. In 54 plants the average work week for common 
labor in 1914 was 60 hours. The summer of 1920 witnessed 
even longer hours, but beginning in December, there were 
marked decreases which became increasingly severe during 
the early months of 1921. In June, 1921, the unskilled wage 
earner was working 46.7 hours. 

In 54 plants, the skilled wage earner was working 54.4 hours 
in July, 1914 — this condition being the result of the temporary 
industrial depression at this time. The summer of 1920 saw 
the skilled wage earner working longer hours, ranging up to 
59.6 hours in August. The winter of 1920-1921 saw marked 
declines which were well sustained during 1921, the trough 
period of 38.7 hours being reached in June, 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. The decline in hourly earnings has been well above the 
general average in basic industries, particularly in the skilled 
group. 

2. The decline in weekly earnings has been more extensive 
than in other industries covered by this investigation. This 
is due to a combination of reductions in plant activity, working 
hours, and hourly rates. 

3. The decline in employment is practically parallel with 
that found in manufacturing metal trades and has been con- 
tinuous during 1920-1921. Skilled labor has been more 
seriously affected by unemployment than common labor. In 
June, 1921, fewer wage earners were employed than in the 
depression period of 1914. 

4. The hours of plant activity increased from 115.1 in 
July, 1914, a period of depression, to 126.5 in June, 1920. 
A large amount of unfilled orders and general prosperity 
maintained activity through October, 1920. The industrial 
depression, however, forced the plant hours to the abnormally 
low level of 96.3 hours in June, 1921. 

5. The average week per wage earner increased from 56.4 

66 



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hours in July, 1914 to 57.7 hours in June, 1920. By June, 1921, 
the average wage earner was working over sixteen hours less 
than in the preceding June. The wage earner in this industry 
has, therefore, been affected most severely by part-time opera- 
tions during the depression period. • 

6. While there has been extensive reduction in both weekly 
and hourly earnings in this industry, the cessation of domestic 
demand and foreign consumption seems to point to a severely 
depressed condition of the industry in the middle of June, 
1921. 



68 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



VI 

COTTON MANUFACTURING 

A. North 

Cotton manufacturing varies so widely between northern 
and southern states that separate classification has been made. 
Wage investigation of the northern cotton mills is confined to 
establishments engaged in spinning and weaving and finishing 
of cotton fabrics. Returns were received from 73 plants^m- 
ploying 52,758 wage earners at the high point in June, 1920. 
Women were employed in 72 of these establishments. The 
geographical distribution within 10 states is as follows: 

Connecticut 7 New Hampshire 6 

Illinois. 1 New York 4 

Massachusetts 36 New Jersey 1 

Maine 3 Pennsylvania 5 

Missouri 1 Rhode Island 9 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 211% from July, 1914 
up to July, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to 
July, 1921 was 22.1%, leaving a net increase of 142%. During 
the months of 1920 there was only a slight decline in hourly 
earnings. At the beginning of 1921 there was an average 
cut of almost ten cents per hour, amounting to over 18%. 
The decline since January, 1921, has been moderate and 
gradual throughout the period. 

In October, 1920, the hourly earnings of common labor were 
195% above 1914. In June, those o{ skilled labor showed an 
increase of 213% and those oi women y 215%. The percentages 
of decrease for the three groups from their respective peaks 
up to July, 1921, were: common labor, 22.2%; skilled labor, 
20.9%; women, 24.4%. 

In June, 1921, the hourly earnings of common labor were 
129% above 1914, those of skilled labor, 148%, and those of 
women, 138%. 

69 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 190% between July, 1914, 
and June, 1920, and from the latter period up to July, 1921, 
declined 28.4%, leaving a net increase of 107%. The de- 
cline in weekly earnings was gradual through September, 
1920. Beginning in October, due to extensive reduction in 
working hours, weekly earnings began to decrease rapidly. 
This movement continued through the closing months of 1920, 
becoming marked in January, 1921, when extensive cuts in 
hourly rates were made. Beginning in February, 1921, there 
was a tendency to increase in weekly earnings, due to longer 
working hours. Hourly earnings during this period, however, 
continued to drop. 

The peak of weekly earnings for all three groups was reached 
in June, 1920. At that time the earnings of common labor 
showed an increase of 184% over July, 1914, those of skilled 
laborj 192% and those of women y 191%. The percentages of 
decline for these three groups from June, 1920 up to July, 
1921 were: common labor, 27.6%; skilled labor, 27.7%; wometiy 
30.1%. In June, 1921 the weekly earnings of common labor 
were 105% above 1914, those oi skilled labor, 111% and those 
of women, 104%. 



Employment 

The decline in total number of wage earners employed, from 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921, was 14.2%. The trough period 
of employment occurred in December, 1920, when there 
was a decrease of 26.1 % from June, 1920. The increase, during 
1921, from the depression point, amounted to 16.2%. By far 
the greatest reduction in workers has occurred among the 
female wage-earning group, evidently pointing to return of 
women from wartime employment to domestic occupations. 

Total employment increases in identical establishments 
between July, 1914 and June, 1920, were 10.5%. This re- 
flects the normal expansion of the industry. While the subse- 
quent reduction in employment has been extensive, it does not 
present so severe a problem as that in many other basic indus- 
tries. However, in June, 1921, in identical establishments, 
employment had shrunk below the 1914 level. 

70 



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AVKWA8K HOUWLV KAKNINSS 

ACTUAL FIBUffEB "^ INDEX NUMBCffB 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



71 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 








Av. 


Av. 








Index Not. 


One 


1914-21 


Total 


Week 


Hours 


Nom- 


Av. 


At. 


Earnings 


Week 


Establ. 


All 


Per 


Plant 


inal 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 




In 


Establ. 


Wage 


Opera- 


Week 


Earngs. 


Earngs. 












Earner 


tion 








Hrly. 


Wkly. 


J9J4 




















JulyV. 


43,445 


43,445 


52.0 


53.6 


55.7 


$.173 


$9.02 


100 


100 


1920 




















fune. . . 
July... 


47,986 


52,758 


48.6 


48.9 


50.0 


.538 


26.14 


311 


290 


47,723 


52,385 


48.2. 


49.0 


50.0 


.530 


25.56 


306 


283 


Aug 


45,531 


50,031 


47.6 


48.5 


50.0 


.529 


25.20 


306 


279 


Sept . . . 


45,565 


49,745 


46.4 


48.1 


50.1 


.529 


24.56 


306 


272 


Oct.... 


41,424 


45,064 


43.9 


44.4 


50.1 


.533 


23.38 


308 


259 


Nov... 


39,523 


41,268 


38.3 


38.9 


50.1 


.532 


20.36 


307 


226 


Dec... 


37,234 


38,965 


35.5 


36.6 


50.2 


.533 


18.89 


308 


209 


1921 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


38,346 


40,258 


37.8 


38.7 


50.3 


.436 


16.48 


252 


183 


39,927 


42,071 


41.2 


42.0 


50.3 


.428 


17.65 


247 


196 


March . 


40,362 


42,738 


41.4 


42.5 


50.3 


.429 


17.79 


248 


197 


April.. . 
May. . . 


39,908 


42,230 


40.4 


40.3 


50.3 


.430 


17.38 


249 


193 


41,906 


44,858 


44.4 


44.4 


50.3 


.420 


18.63 


243 


207 


June.. . 


42,222 


45,290 


44.7 


44.8 


50.3 


.419 


18.71 


242 


207 



♦1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914, were 
55.7. In June, 1920, the hours of the nominal week were 50 
and the latter standard, with slight increases, was practically 
maintained up to July, 1921. 

The actual week oj plant operation showed a reduction from 
53.6 hours in July, 1914, to 48.9 hours in June, 1920.* The 
decline in plant activity began in September, became more 
marked in October, and then reached the depression points 
during the next three months. The months of 1921 showed 
marked and continued recovery except for a temporary decline 
in April, 1921. 

The actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 52 
hours in July, 1914, to 48.6 hours in July, 1920. The acute 

*The large decrease in hours during this period is mainly accounted 
for by the enactment in Massachusetts in 1919 of the 48-hour working 
week for women. 



72 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




JUW JUWJUlAUSaiPrOaN(yptCJAHTOMiPAH»MATJUN 418^ 

ISI4 1920 1921 IBI4. 

(^Naticnal Industrial Conference Board) 



industrial depression took effect in November, when there 
was a drop to 38.3 hours, followed by a further decline in 
December to a new low level of 35.5 hours. The beginning of 
1921 showed a marked increase which was sustained through 
March. There was a slight relapse in April, followed by a 
revival in May and June. 

The trend of hours shows a gradual decline through the 
summer of 1920, marked depression during the winter, fol- 
lowed by revival in 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. Decline in hourly earnings has been extensive and more 
marked than in other members of the textile group, except 
in southern cotton mills. 

2. Decrease in weekly earnings has been severe, due to a 
large reduction, not only in hourly rates, but in working hours. 
Wages have been more affected by rate cutting than by part- 
time operations. 

3. The industry, as a whole, showed a decline through 1920, 
marked depression in the winter of 1920-1921 and a general 
sustained recovery in the spring of 1921. Earlier readjustment 
brought the industry to a better condition in 1921 than is 
found in many other basic industries. However, the particular 
conditions in the cotton market have had a direct effect upon 
productive activity within manufacturing plants. 

73 



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Cotton Manufacturing 

B. South 

As in the northern cotton mills, this wage investigation 
among cotton manufacturing plants in the southern states is 
confined to establishments engaged in spinning and weaving 
and finishing of cotton fabrics. The geographical distribution 
among 10 southern states is as follows: 

Alabama 3 North Carolina 2 

Georgia 6 South Carolina 14 

Kentucky 1 Tennessee 5 

Mississippi 1 Texas 2 

Maryland 2 Virginia 2 

Returns were received from 38 plants, employing 18,781 
wage earners at the high point in September, 1920. Women 
were employed in all of the establishments. 

Any comparison of wages in northern and southern cotton 
mills must take into consideration the differences in living 
conditions in the two sections of the country. In the average 
southern cotton mill town, company houses and accompanying 
facilities are usually provided by the operators, at a nominal 
price, while in northern cotton manufacturing centers, such 
provisions are generally not made. This additional compensa- 
tion in southern mills must, therefore, be considered in any 
discussion of comparative wages. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 222% from July, 1914 to 
October, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 
1921 was 31.8%. In June, 1921, the increase was 120% 
over July, 1914. There was a slight increase from July, 
1920, to October. Marked reductions began to occur in 
December, amounting to almost five cents per hour, and more 
moderate declines continued throughout the first six months 
of 1921. 

In September, 1920, hourly earnings of common labor had 
increased 232%, and in October, 1920, those of skilled labor 
showed an increase of 242%, and those of women 198%, over 
July, 1914. The decline for each of these groups from the peak 

75 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



months up to July, 1921 was as follows: common labofy 32.8%; 
skilled laboTy 33.5%; women^ 31.2%. In June, 1921, common 
labor showed an increase in hourly earnings of 123%, skilled 
labofy 127%, and tvomeuy 105%, over July, 1914. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 192% from July, 1914 to July, 1920, 
and from the latter period up to July, 1921, declined 
32.5%, leaving a net increase of 97% up to the middle of 
1921. The trend shows moderate declines through November, 
with a sharp reduction occurring in December, amounting to 
approximately $2.28 a week, or 12%. The year 1921 was 
marked by a further decline in weekly earnings, caused by 
the reduction of hourly earnings rather than by curtailment 
of working hours. 

The high point of weekly earnings of common labor was 
reached in September, 1920, when the increase shown over 
July, 1914, was 203%. The peak for skilled labor and women 
was reached in July, 1920, when increases of 211% and 167% 
over the 1914 level were indicated. The declines from these 
peaks up to July, 1921 for the three groups, were as follows: 
common labor, 36.4%; skilled labor, 33.7%; women, 30.8%. 
In June, 1921, common labor was 93% above 1914, skilled 
labor, 106%, and women, 85%. 

Employment 

The total employment decreased 7.9% between the peak 
in September, 1920, and June, 1921. The period of greatest 
reduction was reached in January, when there were approxi- 
mately 13% fewer wage earners employed than in the preced- 
ing September. A revival of production caused an increase 
between January and June, 1921, of over 5% in numbers 
employed. Among the three groups, the greatest amount of 
decline has occurred among women, where the decrease be- 
tween September, 1920 and June, 1921, amounted to 16.8%. 

The total number of employees in identical establishments 
increased 11.2% from July, 1914 up to July, 1920. In June, 
1921, the increase over 1914 was 6.9%. 

Relatively speaking, the employment problem in southern 
cotton mills is unimportant, the amount of decline being 
negligible in comparison with general conditions. The 
industry showed a normal growth between 1914 and 1920. 

76 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKHASK HOUWLV KAKNINSa 




Bl IBM 1880 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



77 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite PayroU Data 



Ptriod 


No. Wage Eanien 
Employed 


Averace Houn 


(All Wag^^rnera) 


One 

Week 

Id 


1914-21 
Ettabl. 


Total 

All 
Ettabl. 


Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 


Av. 

Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngt. 


Av. 

Wkly. 
Earngt. 


Index No«. 
Earninga 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.. 

1920 
une. . . 

!uly... 

Aug... . 

Sept . . . 

Oct.... 

Nov . . . 

Dec... 

1921 
Jan . . . 
Feb.... 
March . 
April. . 
May. . . 
June . . . 


12,601 

14,012 
14,087 
14,079 
14,006 
13,158 
13,128 
12,870 

12,575 
13,382 
13,296 
13,161 
13,103 
13,473 


12,601 

18,262 
18,362 
18,745 
18,781 
17,824 
17,533 
17,111 

16,398 
16,977 
16,934 
16,753 
16,998 
17,294 


56.3 

52.1 
52.4 
50.0 
50.6 
47.8 
48.0 
48.4 

50.6 
50.9 
50.4 
49.9 
51.1 
50.6 


58.8 

.55.1 
54.7 
55.0 
54.4 
51.0 
51.0 
50.8 

52.1 
52.6 
52.2 
51.7 
52.6 
52.3 


58.8 

55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 

55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 
55.6 


$.126 

.385 
.395 
.397 
.401 
.406 
.397 
.346 

.327 
.315 
.306 
.295 
.283 
.277 


$7.10 

20.09 
20.72 
19.87 
20.31 
19.41 
19.05 
16.77 

16.51 
16.02 
15.43 
14.71 
14.48 
13.99 


100 

306 
314 
315 
318 
322 
315 
'275 

260 
250 
243 
234 
225 
220 


lOO 

283 
292 
280 

286 
273 
268 
236 

232 
226 
217 
207 
204 
197 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 



Hours 



The hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 58.8. 
In June, 1920, they had decreased to 55.6. The latter stand- 
ard continued throughout 1920-1921. 

The average hours oj plant operation were reduced from 58.8 
in July, 1914, to 55.1 in June, 1920. The depression began to 
take effect in October, when there was a decline of over three 
hours from September, and continued throughout the remain- 
ing months of 1920. In 1921, marked stimulation occurred, 
except for a slight slump during April. In general, plant 
activity has continued fairly well during the adverse industrial 
conditions. 

The actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 56.3 
hours in July, 1914, to 52.1 hours in June, 1920. The decline 
in actual hours began in August and further sharp reduction 
occurred in October. The closing months of 1920 were a 

78 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 

depression period, but the beginning of the new year showed 
marked revivals in working hours. There were fluctuations in 
the spring months undoubtedly caused by the unsettled con- 
dition of the cotton market. However, reduction of working 
hours has affected the wages of the average employee little 
in coniparison to wage decreases. 

Conclusion 

1. Decline in wages has been more extensive than in any 
other members of the textile group, and far beyond that of the 
average basic industry. 

2. While extensive reductions, amounting to approximately 
32% in both hourly and weekly earnings, occurred during 
1920-1921, the large wage increases between 1914 and the 
peak in 1920 left the average wage earner comparatively well 
off in June, 1921. 

3. The employment decline of 8% has been relatively unim- 
portant, and 1921 has witnessed a slight increase in employ- 
ment. 

4. Reduction in working hours has affected earnings 
slightly in comparison with wage cutting. 

5. The depression period occurred at the close of 1920, and 
1921 has indicated a readjustment on a more permanent basis. 

79 



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VII 

WOOL MANUFACTURING 

Wage data for this industry were received from establish- 
ments engaged in the spinning of woolen and worsted yarns 
and in the weaving and finishing of woolen and worsted fab- 
rics. Returns were received from 72 establishments, of which 
all but one employed women. The total number of wage 
earners at the high point of employment in June, 1921 was 
44,385. Approximately 22% of the wage earners listed in the 
1919 Census of Manufactures as being employed in this 
industry were covered in this report. The data are repre- 
sentative in coverage of wage earneis and as to distribution 
and size of establishments involved. The geographical dis- 
tribution within 18 states is as follows: 

California 1 New Hampshire 4 

G>nnecticut 6 New Jersey 5 

Illinois 1 New York 3 

Iowa 1 Ohio 1 

Maine 5 Pennsylvania 7 

Maryland 1 Rhode Island 7 

Massachusetts 25 Vermont. 1 

Michigan 1 West Virginia 1 

Minnesota 1 Wisconsin 1 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 209% from July, 1914 through June, 
1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 was 
17.9%. In June, 1921, the increase was 153% over July, 1914. 
The period June, 1920 up to July, 1921 has shown a gradual 
decline from month to month. A wage cut of six cents per 
hour occurred at the beginning of 1921, when the entire in- 
dustry was going ' through a readjustment period. There 
was a slight rise in hourly earnings at the middle of 1921. 
In November, 1920, the hourly earnings of common labor 
had increased 196% over July, 1914, and in October skilled 
labor had increased 211%. The peak for women occurred 
in June, 1920, when the increase was 211%. The declines 

81 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



from the respective peaks up to July, 1921 amounted to 19.5% 
for common labor y 17% for skilled labors and 18.8% for women. 
In June, 1921, the percentages of increase above July, 1914 
for the three groups were respectively, 138%, 158%, 152%, 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 160% from July, 1914 through June, 

1920, and declined from the latter period up to July, 1921, 
12.6%, showing in the middle of 1921 a net increase of 128% 
over July, 1914. The trend during the past year has shown 
a gradual decline in weekly earnings down through March, 

1921. Since then, there has been a marked revival in plant 
activity, with longer working hours and hence increased 
weekly earnings. The largest decrease in any one period was 
noted in November, 1920, when there was a drop of $1.44 in 
the contents of the average weekly pay envelope. 

The high point in weekly earnings for common labor was 
reached in October, 1920, when there was an increase of 154% 
over 1914. The peak for both skilled labor and women was 
. reached in June, 1920, when the increases were respectively, 
166% and 159%. Declines for the three groups up to July, 
1921 amounted to 12.8% for common labor, 13.8% for skilled 
labor, and 11.9% for women. In June, 1921, common labor 
was 121% above 1914, skilled labor, 129% and women, 128%. 
Thus, respective increases of pay for the three groups have 
been approximately the same. 

The readjustment in the wool industry began in the early 
spnng months of 1920. This period is not covered by the pres- 
ent report, but indications are that the amount of decline from 
the early spring period through June, 1920, was not severe or 
extensive. The general peak in June, 1920, shown in this study, 
therefore, probably reflects an approximate general peak for 
the whole industry. The general course of wages in the past 
year has shown a gradual tendency downwards. The trough 
occurred at the beginning of 1921, when there were sharp wage 
reductions in many of the larger plants. The trend continued 
downward through March, 1921. A marked revival has 
occurred since that time. 

The amount of decline in wages in the wool industry is 
below that in cotton manufacturing, but above silk and hosiery 
manufacturing. Careful analysis of the trends seems to point 
out the following facts: (1) Readjustment occurred earlier 

82 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




AVKffABK MOURLY KARNINaB 



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ACTUAL FlBURCa 



WBBKLV VARNINBB 




1014 1880 IBBI im* IBSO I CM I 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



83 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 


One 

Week 

In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


Av. 
Week 

Earner 


Av. 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Eamgs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 

JulyV. 

1920 
, une. . . 

. uly • • • 

Aug 

Sept . . . 
Oct .. . 
Nov . . . 
Dec. ... 

1921 
Jan.... 
Feb.... 
March . 
April.. . 
May... 
June . . . 


36,891 

40,116 
38,969 
36,628 
37,018 
36,811 
35,001 
33,906 

33,707 
35,328 
35,271 
38,457 
40,698 
41,651 


36,891 

42,546 
41,192 
38,684 
39,085 
38,933 
36,575 
35,527 

34,911 
37,149 
37,288 
40,854 
43,195 
44,385 


52.8 

44.6 
43.6 
43.7 
43.3 
43.2 
40.9 
40.6 

42.8 
45.4 
45.2 
45.8 
47.1 
47.5 


53.3 

45.2 
45.1 
.44.5 
44.5 
44.5 
41.6 
41.3 

44.9 

47.3 
47.1 
47.4 
48.6 
48.6 


55.1 

49.8 
49.8 
49.8 
49.8 
49.8 
49.8 
49.8 

50.0 
50.1 
50.1 
50.2 
50.2 
50.2 


$.185 
.571 

.566 
.569 
.568 
.566 
.562 
.555 

.493 
.465 
.463 
.460 
.467 
.469 


$9.77 

25.46 
24.67 
24.88 
24.58 
24.46 
22.98 
22.52 

21.08 
21.13 
20.94 
21.07 
22.01 
22.26 


100 

309 
306 
308 
307 
306 
304 
300 

266 
251 
250 
249 
252 
253 


100 

260 
252 
254 
251 
250 
235 
230 

215 
216 
214 
215 
225 
228 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

in the wool industry than in most basic industries; (2) general 
movement in reduction of wages has been gradual; (3) the 
increases from 1914 in wages for all classes of labor have been 
approximately the same, and hence the relative position in 
regard to earnings of the three groups has been unchanged 
since 1914. 

Employment 

The total employment in the wool industry increased 4.3% 
from June, 1920 up to July, 1921. There was a gradual decline 
of 17.9% from June, 1920 to the trough in January, 1921, 
and a marked increase from the latter period up to July, 
1921, amounting to 27.1%. The whole tendency in employ- 
ment was toward a marked revival after the beginning of 
1921. The increases in the groups, common labor, skilled 
labor, and women, from June, 1920 up to July, 1921, were 
respectively 11.8%, 3.6% and 3.3%. The decreases by 

84 



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groups from June, 1920 to the respective troughs were: com- 
mon labor, 26%; skilled labor, 18%; women, 16%. The in- 
creases from the latter periods through June, 1921, were: 
common labor, 51%; skilled labor, 27%; women, 23%. 

The total number of employees in the woolen industry in 
identical establishments increased 13% from July, 1914 
up to July, 1921, when the peak of employment was reached. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
approximately 55 . Following the general reduction in working 
hours during the war period, there was a decline to approxi- 
mately 50 hours in June, 1920. The latter stand.ard was main- 
tained throughout 1920-1921, there being a slight increase 
toward the middle of the present year. 

The actual week oj plant operation shows a reduction from 
53.3 hours in July, 1914 to 45.2 hours in June, 1920. The 
next months showed slight declines, the decrease going as 
low as 41.3 hours in December. In January, the start was 
made toward recovery, there having been an increase in 
activity of about four hours per plant from December. Plant 
operation continued to increase through the spring months 

85 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



of 1921 y reaching 48.6 hours in June. The study of the chart 
of the actual week of plant operation reflects very closely the 
industrial condition of the whole industry during the past 
months. It will be seen readily that early readjustment 
caused by deflation in prices of raw materials in 1920 in- 
fluenced quicker resumption of normal plant activity in 1921. 

The average actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 
52.8 hours in July, 1914 to 44.6 hours in June, 1920. The 
resumption of activity, beginning in February, caused an 
immediate increase in the actual week per wage earner, so 
that in June, the average wage earner was working almost 
seven hours longer per week than 'at the close of 1920. This 
increase in actual working hours has increased the weekly 
earnings in the spring months, but the decline in hourly 
earnings previous to that time has more than overtaken the 
increase in weekly earnings due to longer working hours. 

It will be noted that, beginning in August and continuing 
th]%ugh January, 1921, the hours of the average week per wage 
earner and the hours of plant operation were quite close to- 
gether. This is probably due to the fact that many plants 
were either entirely closed during the summer months or 
operated on a part-time schedule. The wage earners, how- 
ever, in the active plants worked approximately the same 
general average hours. The result of plant shutdowns and 
part-time operations thus brought the hours of plant activity 
and the average week per wage earner closer together. 

Cionclusion 

1. Earlier liquidation in prices and wages has resulted in 
an earlier resumption of activity. 

2. Decline in wages has been gradual since the peak in 
1920, with a slight increase in wages in the spring of 1921. 

3. The wage increases since 1914 have been approximately 
the same for both skilled men and women. 

4. The drop of five hours in the nominal week between 
July, 1914 and June, 1920 is above the general average for 
most industries during the same period. It may be accounted 
for, in part, by the effect of legislation shortening the hours 
of female wage earners. 

5. The trend in the hours of plant activity between 1914 

86 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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and 1920 closely followed that of the nominal week. The 
early lowering of prices quickened plant activity in 1921. 

6. A 4% increase in employment during the past year is 
distinctive in comparison with the huge decline in employment 
in practically all of American industry. 

7. The winter of 1920-1921 was marked by general stag- 
nation, followed by great activity in the spring of 1921. 

8. Indications point to a soundly reorganized condition of 
the industry, including all the factors of employment, working 
hours and wages. 



. Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



VIII 

SILK MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish- 
ments engaged in silk throwing, spinning, weaving and finish- 
ing of silk fabrics. Returns were received from 70 plants 
employing 24,186 wage earners in June, 1921. Women were 
employed in 68 plants. Approximately 17% of the wage 
earners listed by the 1919 Census of Manufactures in this 
industry are covered in this report. The returns come from 
the centers of silk manufacturing in the eastern states, the 
geographical distribution in six states being as follows: 

Connecticut 6 New York. 10 

Massachusetts 9 Pennsylvania 27 

New Jersey 17 Virginia 1 

A very small proportion of common labor is found in the 
average silk plant. The bulk of production in many plants 
is by piece work, and hence it is difficult to secure accurate 
data on hourly earnings. In most establishments it was 
found that women were paid on the same basis as men, when 
performing the same kind of work. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 168% from July, 1914 to 
July, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 
1921 was 14.7%. In June, 1921, the increase was 128% 
over July, 1914. A general peak of hourly earnings was 
maintained from June to November, 1920. Sharp reduc- 
tions occurred at the beginning of 1921, amounting to ap- 
proximately 4J/^ cents an hour, or 9%. Decline in hourly 
earnings continued up to July, 1921. In September, 1920, 
common labor showed an increase of 160% over 1914, in July 
skilled labor showed an increase of 162%, and in June and in 
October, hourly earnings of women were 178% above 1914. 
A decline of approximately 15% occurred for each of the 
three groups from their respective peaks up to July, 1921. 

89 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



In June, 1921, the percentages of increase over 1914 for the 
three groups were respectively 123%, 123% and 137%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Compotite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 122% from July, 1914 through June, 
1920, and decreased approximately 6% between the latter 
period and July, 1921 showing a net increase of 109% over 
July, 1914. There wat considerable fluctuation between 
June and October, 1920. A second peak, slightly lower than 
that of June, occurred in December and was due principally 
to longer working hours. The low point in weekly earnings was 
reached in January, 1921^ caused by the reduction in working 
hours, and there hat been a gradual increase in weekly earn- 
ings from that time to the middle of the year. 

•Weekly earnings show a slighter decrease than in other 
textile industries covered in this investigation. As June, 1920 
is the first period after July, 1914 covered in this report, it is 
quite probable that an early reduction occurred previous to 
June, 1920, so that the actual decline in earnings is greater 
than that presented by the accompaning data. It would 
appear that by the middle of 1921, a tendency toward re- 
construction had already set in, marked by an increase in 
working hours over 1920, and in weekly earnings, while a 
gradual decline in hourly earnings still continued. 

Employment 

Total employment increased approximately 3% from June, 
1920 up to July, 1921. The period of greatest depression 
occurred in December, when there was a decline of 24.6% from 
June, 1920. Between the low point and July, 1921, employ- 
ment increased 36%. The decline by groups from June, 1920 
to the low point was a follows: common labor, 21.6%; skilled 
labor, 22.5%; women, 28.3%. In June, 1921, as compared 
with the preceding June, there was a slight increase in numbers 
employed in both the skilled and female group and a decline 
in common labor. 

The number employed in identical establishments between 
July, 1914 and June, 1920 was practically unchanged. In 
June, 1921, compared with July, 1914, there was a slight de- 
cline in employment, but the trend indicates a rather sta- 
tionary condition throughout the years 1914 to 1921. 

90 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVCItABK HOUIIL.Y KARNINBa 

ACTUAL rHUHES ^^q fNQEX NUMBEPB 




1814 laea 



IBBI ISM 1880 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



91 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Fcriol 


No. W>ce Einaen 


Atcticc Hotirm 


Wac» 

1 Al] Wice £anieti> 


OhWccL 
1b 




TdwI 

All 
Ectabl. 


Av. 

EarntJ 


At. 

tion 


NofD- 
lEIll 


At. 

Hrly, 
Evni*. 


At. 
Earn El. 


Index Ndi. 
Eaminp 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.. 

mo 

June 

July 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April 

May 

June 


15JQ00 

15,150 
14,959 
14,563 
14,003 
13,779 
12,999 
11,908 

11,897 
12,357 
13,659 
14,231 
14,372 
14,491 


15,000 

23,514 
22,864 
22,266 
21,251 
20,801 
18,640 
17,740 

18,651 
20,357 
22,296 
23,358 
23,914 
24,186 


51.1 

42.5 
41.8 
40.2 
41.8 
41.7 
39.4 
42.6 

42.4 
44.3 
46.8 
46.7 
46.8 
46.7 


54.1 

46.1 
45.6 
44.2 
44.1 
44.0 
40.5 
49.1 

49.8 
49.9 
49.6 
49.6 
51.7 
49.9 


54.3 

47.9 
47.9 
47.9 
47.9 
47.9 
47.9 
48.0 

48.5 
48.5 
48.5 
48.5 
48.5 
48.5 


$.193 

.516 
.517 
.515 
.514 
.517 
.516 
.508 

.464 
.456 
.452 
.449 
.440 
.441 


$ 9.m 

21.92 
21.58 
20.70 
21.49 
21.56 
20.34 
21.61 

19.67 
20.18 
21.15 
21.00 
20.59 
20.63 


100 

267 
268 
267 
266 
268 
267 
263 

240 
236 
234 
233 
228 
228 


100 

222 
218 
209 
217 
218 
206 
219 

199 
204 
214 
213 
208 
209 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

Hours 

In July, 1914, 54.3 hours constituted the average nominal 
work week. A general reduction in working hours took place 
during the war period, a drop being noted to approximately 
48 hours in June, 1920. At the beginning of 1921 the nominal 
week was increased to approximately 48j^ hours, and re- 
mained at this level through the first six months of the year. 

The average hours of plant operation in July, 1914 were 
54.1 In June, 1920 industrial depression had set in and there 
was a drop to 46 hours. During the fall, considerable decrease 
in plant activity was noted, followed by a most severe period 
of depression in November. Beginning in December and con- 
tinuing in 1921, there was a marked revival in plant operation. 
The hours from December, 1920 up to July, 1921 have ex- 
ceeded the hours of the nominal week. This was caused in 
part by the fact that many plants have operated on a two- 

92 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 

shift basis in order to give employment to as many people as 
possible, although the wage earner has not generally worked 
on an overtime basis. 

The average actual week per wage earner showed a decline 
from 51.1 hours in July, 1914 to 42.5 in June, 1920. A period 
of decline followed, the trough of 39.4 hours being reached in 
November. A marked increase occurred in 1921, following the 
trend in plant activity. The stimulation in this industry, 
during 1921, had a marked effect in maintaining weekly earn- 
ings, which otherwise would have been reduced considerably 
through the decline in hourly earnings. 

Conclusion 

1. The decline in hourly earnings has been extensive, but 
less than in other textiles, except hosiery manufacturing. 

2. Reduction in weekly earnings has been slight, because 
longer working hours have been maintained during 1921. 

3. The depression period in plant activity occurred at the 
close of 1920, followed by a marked revival during 1921. 

4. An increase in employment of over 3% occurred be- 
tween June, 1920 and July, 1921. 



93 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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94 



Digitized by LaOOQ IC 



IX 

HOSIERY AND KNIT GOODS MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry includes establish- 
ments manufacturing hosiery, underwear, sweaters and other 
knitted wear. Separate classification was originally made of 
both hosiery and underwear plants, but the general differences 
between these two groups were reflected only in the earnings 
of common labor. The composite group, therefore, is used for 
the investigation^ Returns were received from 90 plants em- 
ploying 24,849 workers at the high point in June, 1920. The 
geographical distribution in this industry, within 18 states, is 
as follows: 

Connecticut 5 North Carolina 5 

Georgia 2 Ohio 4 

Maryland 1 Pennsylvania 25 

Massachusetts 4 South Carolina 1 

Michigan 4 Rhode Island 1 

Minnesota 2 Utah. 1 

New Hampshire 1 Washington. 1 

New Jersey. 2 West Virginia 1 

New York 25 Wisconsin 5 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 149% from July, 1914 to 
July, 1920, and from the latter period up to July, 1921, 
declined 11.4%, leaving a net increase of 121%. A stationary 
condition existed through 1920, with approximately a 10% 
cut occurring in January, 1921. The first six months of 1921 
showed a practically unchanged situation. The high point 
of hourly earnings for the male labor group was reached in 
December, 1920, when the hourly earnings of common labor 
were 201% above 1914 and those oi skilled labor 156%. The 
peak of hourly earnings for women occurred in June, 1920, when 
they were 150% above 1914. The percentages of decrease 
from each of these peaks to the middle of 1921 were as follows; 
common lahor^ 18.9%; skilled lahor^ 15%; women, 11.8%. 

95 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Up to July, 1921, the percentages of increase above 1914 
for the three groups were: common labor ^ 144%; skilled labor, 
118%; women, 120%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 135% from July, 1914 to June, 1920 
and from the latter period up to July, 1921, declined 15.2%, 
leaving a net increase of 99%. The weekly earnings re- 
mained practically stationary through October, 1920. In 
November, 1920, there was a considerable reduction due 
to shorter working hours, and the opening months of 1921 
showed continued depression. However, there was a marked 
revival during the spnng of 1921. 

The high point of weekly earnings for common labor was 
reached in December, 1920, when they stood. 160% over 1914; 
for skilled labor, in August, 1920, when there was an increase 
of 132%, and in June, 1920 for womehy when there was an 
increase of 134% over 1914. The percentages of decline from 
these respective peaks up to July, 1921 were as follows: 
common labor, 20.2%; skilled labor, 17.5%; women, 13.2%. 
The percentages of increase over 1914 up to July, 1921, were 
respectively 107%, 91% and 103%. 

In general, the decline in hourly earnings has been far 
below that in other textiles. The decrease in weekly earnings 
is due to the reduction in hourly rates and loss in working 
hours during 1920-1921. Relatively speaking, the net wage 
increases in June, 1921 have been less in this group than in 
other textiles, except southern cotton mills. 

Employment 

The total number of wage earners decreased 13.6% from 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921. The trough period was reached 
in January, 1921, when they had decreased 37.7%. Between 
January and July, 1921, there was a continuous revival so that 
38.7% more wage earners were employed at the latter period 
than at the beginning of the year. The greatest reduction in 
any of the groups between June, 1920 and the middle of 1921 
occurred in common labor. 

The total number of wage earners in identical establish- 
ments increased approximately 20% between July, 1914 and 
June, 1920. In June, 1921, employment in identical establish- 
ments had fallen below the 1914 level. In general, employ- 

96 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKffABK NOURLV KARNINM 




1814 . 1880 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 



97 



Digitized by LjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wase Earnera 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 

(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 


Av. 
Hrs. 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 

Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
^ Earnings 


In 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

\\iiit 

July 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


16,034 

19,239 
18,291 
16,533 
17,264 
13,386 
13,664 
11,060 

10,521 
12,456 
13,342 
14,720 
14,834 
14,984 


16,034 

24,849 
24,090 
22,214 
22,823 
18,936 
18,842 
15,818 

15,471 
17,917 
19,080 
20,729 
21,034 
21,459 


48.9 

47.8 
43.7 
45.0 
44.5 
43.4 
40.9 
40.6 

40.2 
43.1 
42.5 
43.1 
44.6 
44.2 


54.5 

49.5 
46.4 
49.9 
49.2 
46.3 
44.7 
44.2 

44.7 
48.2 
47.5 
47.4 
49.3 
49.3 


54.2 

50.2 
50.2 
50.2 
50.2 
50.2 
50.2 
50.2 

50.2 
50.3 
50.3 
50.3 
50.3 
50.3 


%.180 
.433 

.449 
.441 
.446 
.444 
.438 
.443 

.401 
.392 
.401 
.393 
.396 
.398 


$8.82 

20.72 
19.61 
19.88 
19.84 
19.28 
17.92 
17.98 

16.11 
16.91 
17.07 
16.93 
17.68 
17.58 


100 

241 
249 
245 
248 
247 
243 
246 

223 
218 
223 
218 
220 
221 


100 

235 
222 
225 
225 
219 
203 
204 

183 
192 
194 
192 
20O 
199 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

ment conditions point to a decrease in employment to slightly 
below the general level found in other textile industries, except 
northern cotton mills. 

Hours 

The hours of the average nominal week in July, 1914 amount- 
ed to 54.2. Following the general reduction in the length of 
working hours during the war period, there was a drop to 50.2 
hours in June, 1920, which standard remained practically sta- 
tionary throughout 1920 and the first six months of 1921. 

The actual week of plant operation decreased from 54.5 hours 
in July, 1914 to 49.5 hours in June, 1920. The industrial de- 
pression began to take effect in October, 1920, when there was 
a drop to 46.3 hours. The next three months showed continued 
depression. Beginning in February, 1921 there was a marked 
revival which was sustained through June. 

98 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




ISM. lan 
(National Inditstrial Coaference Board) 





























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The tfr/ttii/ week per wage eanu^ dedined from 48.9 hours in 
July^ 1914 to 47.8 hours in June, 1920. There was a marked 
decline during the summer months of 1920, apparently due 
to fluctuations in the amount of piece-work production. De- 
pression commenced in November, 1920, when hours fell to 
40.9. Stagnation continued through January, 1921. In 
February, 1921 there was a marked revival of almost three 
hours, which was practically sustained through April, when 
there was further increase in working hours. In general, the 
trend of working hours has followed that of other textiles, show- 
ing a depression in the winter of 1920-1921 with marked 
stimulation and revival during the spring months of 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. Decline in hourly earnings from July, 1920 up to July, 
1921, has been less than that found in other textiles. 

2. The decrease in weekly earnings was practically on a 
level with that found in most basic industries, but much less 
than in cotton manufacturing. 

3. The drop in employment has been less than in the 
majority of basic industries. The depression period in hours 
and employment was reached in the winter of 1920-1921, and 
the spring of 1921 witnessed a marked revival in activity. 

99 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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100 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



RUBBER MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish" 
ments engaged in the manufacture of rubber tires, rubber foot- 
wear, mechanical rubber goods, rubberized fabrics and 
sundries. Returns were received from 87 plants employing 
75,679 wage earners in June, 1920. Women were employed 
in 70 plants. Over 40% of the wage earners listed in the 
1919 Census of Manufactures in this industry were covered 
in this investigation. The majority of the plants were in the 
largest centers of rubber manufacturing. The geographical 
distribution within 17 states is as follows: 

California 1 Missouri 1 

Connecticut 9 New Jersey 9 

Delaware 1 New York 10 

Illinois 2 Ohio 18 

Indiana 1 Oregon 2 

Iowa 1 Pennsylvania 6 

Maryland 1 Rhode Island 5 

Massachusetts. 16 Wisconsin 3 

Michigan 1 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners had increased 172% in June, 1920 in comparison 
with July, 1914. The decline from the latter period up to 
July, 1921 was 13.1%'. The greatest amount of decrease oc- 
curred in February, when composite earnings were 14.9% less 
than in the preceding June. The increase between the latter 
period and July, 1921 was approximately 2%. In June, 1920 
the hourly earnings of common labor were 170% above 1914, 
and in the same month those o{ skilled labor showed an increase 
of 171%. The peak of hourly earnings for women was reached 
in September, when the increase reached 142%. The declines 
from these various peaks up to July, 1921 for the three groups 
were as follows: common labor ^ 14.7%; skilled labor ^ 14.8%; 
women, 14.1%. 
(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 

101 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



wage earners showed an increase of 140% from July, 1914 to 
June, 1920 and declined 10.1% from the latter period up to 
July, 1921. The trough was reached in February, when they 
had dropped over 24% from the peak. The increase in weekly 
earnings from February up to July, 1921, amounted to 
18.4%. As there was practically no rise in hourly earnings 
during this period, the increase in weekly earnings was due to 
longer working hours. 

The high point of weekly earnings of common labor was 
reached in July, 1920, when they had increased 142% over 
1914. In June, 1920 those of skilled labor showed an increase 
of 139% and in July, women were receiving 118% more than 
in 1914. The declines of these various groups from their 
respective peaks up to July, 1921 were as follows: comm^on 
labor, 16.1%; skilled labor, 10.3%; women, 17.5%. In June, 
1921 these three groups respectively showed percentage in- 
creases over 1914 for weekly earnings as follows: 103%, 114% 
and 80%. 

The trend of earnings has been dominated by industrial 
conditions in the automobile industry. The majority of wage 
schedules in this investigation are from rubber tire manu- 
facturers whose productive activity is dependent upon con- 
ditions in the automobile industry. 

Employment 

The decline in total number of wage earners employed from 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 54%. The trough was 
reached in February, 1921 when there was a decline of 60% 
from June, 1920, followed by an increase to May, of 34%. 
Between May and June employment again showed a marked 
decrease of 14%. The employment trend also is influenced 
by conditions iri the automobile industry. The declines from 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921 for the three groups were as 
follows: common labor, 47.7%; skilled labor, 53%; women, 
62.8%. The declines to the trough in February for the 
groups were: common labor, 58%; skilled labor, 64%. The 
recovery from the depression period to May for common 
labor was 33.6%, for skilled labor, 43.8%, and for women, 
9.7%. The declines between May and June for the three 
groups were: common labor, 6%; skilled labor, 8%; women, 
39%. The marked decline in the latter group was due to ex- 

102 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBIVABK HDUMLV KAMNINaS 

ACTUAL FtBUREB ««-« INDEX NUMBEPS 




IB14 leeo 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 



103 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Feriod 


Emplaynl 


Average Hmirf 


Watti 

(AU Wa^e Earneri) 


One Week 
In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


A^. 

Week 

Per 

Wase 

Earner 


Av. 

Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

June 

July 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

fe..:: 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


23,89i 

57,882 
54,122 
45,351 
40,887 
35,93/ 
30,723 
28,04C 

26,28^ 
23,522 
25,019 
26,944 
28,996 
23,638 


23,89i 

75,679 
67,803 
55,182 
49,20c 
43,709 
37,794 
33,961 

32,105 
30,161 
32,604 
36,929 
40,501 
34,774 


49.8 

44.0 
43.7 
43.4 
43.0 
42.1 
40.0 
37.9 

38.5 
39.2 
43.0 
44.8 
44.0 
45.5 


52.5 
44.5 

44.2 
44.4 
44.1 
43.9 
41.4 
39.6 

40.8 
40.9 
44.6 
45.8 
46.3 
46.4 


54.1 

50.4 
50.4 
50.4 
50.3 
50.3 
50.2 
50.2 

50.3 
50.4 
50.4 
50.5 
50.5 
50.5 


$.259 

.704 
.686 
.677 
.675 
.667 
.646 
.624 

.623 
.599 
.6a3 
.606 
.607 
.612 


$12.90 

30.97 
30.01 
29.40 
29.03 
28.09 
25.87 
23.64 

23.96 
23.50 
25.97 
27.15 
26.73 
27.83 


100 

272 
265 
261 
261 
258 
249 
241 

241 
231 
233 
234 
234 
236 


100 

240 
233 
228 
225 
218 
201 
183 

186 
182 
201 
210 
207 
216 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

tensive lay-offs among female wage earners engaged in manu- 
facture of rubber footwear. 

Total employment increased 142% in identical establish- 
ments in the rubber industry between July, 1914 and June, 
1920. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
54.1. Following the general reduction in length of working 
hours during the war period, the hours dropped to 50.4 in 
June, 1920, the latter standard being maintained practically 
throughout 1920-1921. 

The actual week of plant operation shows a reduction from 
52.5 hours in July, 1914 to 44.5 hours in June, 1920. There was 
a marked decline between July and December of almost five 
hours in plant activity. The beginning of 1921 was marked 

104 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 

by a revival which continued throughout the first six months. 
The actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 49.8 
hours in July, 1914 to 44 hours in June, 1920. The slump in 
productive activity, however, began to take effect at the end 
of September and the trough 9f 37.9 hours per week was 
reached in December. The beginning of the year, however, 
showed a marked revival and in June, 1921 the average week 
per wage earner exceeded that of the preceding year. 

Conclusion 

1. Declines in hourly earnings were slightly less than 
reductions in the majority of basic industries. 

2. Declines in weekly earnings were considerably less, due 
to the revival in the spring months of 1921. 

3. A total decline in employment of 54% took place during 
the last year, this being practically the same loss found in the 
automobile industry. 

4. The average hours of work show a decline during the 
close of 1920 and a marked revival during 1921. 

5. The rubber industry evidently has passed through the 
worst period of readjustment, although a marked slump was 
noted in June, 1921. ,. . 

105 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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Digitized by L3OOQ IC 



XI 

LEATHER TANNING AND FINISHING 

The wage investigation is confined to establishments en- 
gaged in the tanning and finishing of leather hides, and does 
not include the manufactures of leather. Schedules were 
received from 75 plants, employing 11,514 wage earners in 
June, 1920. Twenty-four establishments employed women. 
Fifteen per cent of all wage earners listed in the leather tan- 
ning industry in the 1919 Census of Manufactures are in- 
cluded in these data. The geographical distributiofti, within 
23 states, is as follows: 

California 7 New Jersey 4 

Connecticut 2 New York. 7 

Delaware 1 North Carolina 2 

Illinois 3 Ohio 5 

Iowa 1 Oregon 1 

Maine 3 Pennsylvania 6 

Maryland 1 Tennessee 1 

Massachusetts 16 Virginia 1 

Michigan 2 Washington 1 

Minnesota 1 West Virginia 1 

Missouri 1 Wisconsin/ 7 

New Hampshire 1 

There are peculiar difficulties connected with any compila- 
tion of wage data in the leather tanning industry. The great 
proportion of work in tanneries is chiefly of "muscle" labor 
requiring more or less skill. Therefore, the dividing line 
of occupational classification between common and skilled 
labor is difficult to define. In the second place, the proportion 
of women is small, and the data for this group, therefore, are 
relatively unimportant. Finally, in many plants, m^n are em- 
ployed, in the course of one day, on both day and piece work. 
This combination of piece rates and per diem earnings makes 
average hourly earnings data of minor significance. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 164% from July, 1914 to June, 1920. 

107 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 was 
17.8%. In June, 1921, the increase was still 11^% over July, 
1914. The peak of hourly earnings was reached in the spring 
and summer of 1920. Slight reductions took place in the 
closing months of 1920. A large decrease occurred in Janu- 
ary, followed again by a gradual decline to the lowest point 
of deflation in June, 1921. In June, 1920, the hourly earn- 
ings of common labor had increased 156% over July, 1914; 
those of skilled labor, 167%; and those of tvomffiy 200%. The 
declines from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 amounted to 16.5% 
for common labor, 18.4% for skilled labor, and 27.5% for 
women. In June, 1921, the percentages of increase over 
July, 1914 for the three groups respectively were 114%, 
118% and 118%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 145% from July, 1914 to July, 1920, 
and declined from the latter period up to July, 1921, 18.6%, 
showing a net increase in the middle of June, 1921 of 99% over 
July, 1914. February, 1921 was a period of depression, a 
decline of 20.6% being noted from the peak. The period from 
February up to July, 1921 marked an increase in weekly 
earnings. While hourly earnings declined during this period, 
the rise in weekly earnings is the result of an increase of 
over four hours in the average hours worked per wage earner. 

The high point in weekly earnings for common labor was 
reached in July, 1920, when they stood 139% over 1914; in 
June for skilled labor, when they had increased 152%; and also 
in June for women, when they were 178% higher than 1914. 
In June, 1921, the decline from the high point was 19.5% for 
common labor, 18.9% for skilled labor, 24.9% for women. The 
percentage increases up to July, 1921 over July, 1914 for these 
three groups were respectively 92%, 104%, 109%. 

Employment 

The total decline in employment from June, 1920 up to 
July, 1921 was 23.6%. The greatest period of unemployment 
was in February, 1921, when a decline of 36% from the high 
point was reached. This period of stagnation was followed 
by a gradual increase of 19% up to July, 1921. The declines 
from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 were as follows: common 
labor, 22%; skilled labor, 23%; women, 39%. 

108 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBIVABK HOURLY BAIVNINBB 

390 



INDEX NUMBEP8 




iBBi IBM iieo 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



109 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 




Wages 

(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 
In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


Av. 
Week 

M^a'ge 
Earner 


Av. 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Eamgs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Noi. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

, une 

. uly 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. .. . 

May 

June 


8y388 

9,997 
9,262 
8,840 
8,248 
7,628 
7,151 
6,886 

6,697 
6,368 
6,458 
6,854 
7,062 
7,432 


8,388 

11,514 
10,729 
10,277 
9,619 
8,989 
8,409 
8,056 

7,769 
7,422 
7,627 
8,251 
8,470 
8,800 


53.1 

48.4 
49.4 
47.9 
46.9 
45.6 
44.8 
45.0 

44.6 
44.6 
46.6 
45.8 
47.5 
48.8 


57.2 

50.0 
51.4 
50.6 
50.7 
49.2 
49.4 
49.1 

48.1 
47.3 
49.6 
47.9 
49.8 
50.1 


58.0 

51.1 
51.1 
51.1 
51.2 
51.2 
51.2 
51.2 

51.5 
51.5 
51.5 
51.5 
51.5 
51.5 


$.217 

.572 
.570 
.570 
.572 
.564 
.566 
.553 

.500 
.501 
.495 
.487 
.472 
.470 


$11.50 

27.70 
28.14 
27.28 
26.80 
25.66 
25.36 
24.91 

22.28 
22.33 
23.09 
22.36 
22.41 
22.91 


100 

264 
263 
263 
264 
260 
261 
255 

230 
231 
228 
224 
217 
217 


100 

241 
245 
237 
233 
223 
221 
217 

194 
194 
201 
194 
195 
199 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

Employment increased 19% between July, 1914 and June, 
1920. In June, 1921, 11% less wage earners were employed 
in identical establishments than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

In July, 1914, 58 hours constituted the average nominal 
week. Following the general reduction of working hours 
during the war period, there was a drop to 51.1 hours in June, 
1920. This standard of hours remained practically stationary 
to the close of the year. In January, 1921 they increased to 
51.5 hours per week, and continued so up to July, 1921. 

The average actual hours of plant operation were reduced from 
57.2 in July, 1914 to 50 in June, 1920. The period of greatest 
inactivity in the leather industry was between October and 
March, when the hours of plant operation averaged approxi- 

110 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




AVenAOC HOURS 0PW09K 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 





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mately 49 per week. The spring months of 1921 showed a 
marked revival, rising in June to 50.1 hours per week. 

The average actual hours per wage earner showed a decline 
from 53.1 in July, 1914 to 48.4 in June, 1920. A somewhat 
irregular decline continued through February, when there 
was a drop to 44.6 hours per week. In June, 1921, wage 
earners were working longer hours than in June, 1920, point- 
ing to a marked revival in industrial activity. 

Conclusion 

1. The trough period occurred in February, 1921, followed 
in the spring by a gradual approach to more normal conditions 
of employment, earnings and production. 

2. The total decline in employment was 24% from the 
peak up to July, 1921. 

3. The decline in the total number of wage earners from 
July, 1914 up to July, 1921 was 11%. 

4. There was a decline in the average hours of the nominal 
week from 58 in July, 1914 to approximately 51.5 hours in 
1920-1921. 

'-■ 5. There was less part-time operation, during the depres- 
sion period than in many other basic industries. 

Hi 



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112 



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XII 

BOOT AND SHOE MANUFACTURING 

The study of the boot and shoe industry includes estab- 
lishments manufacturing only leather footwear. The returns 
covering the manufacture of rubber footwear are included 
in the tabulations for the rubber industry. Schedules were 
received from 111 establishments, 110 of which employed 
women. The total number of wage earners at the high point of 
employment in June, 1920 was 57,451. Approximately 23% of 
the wage earners listed in the 1919 Census of Manufactures 
as being employed in this industry are covered in this report. 
The average sized plant in this investigation employed 518 
wage earners. The data covering this industry are very repre- 
sentative in the coverage of wage earners involved, and in the 
distribution and size of establishments studied. The geograph- 
ical distribution within 12 states is as follows:' 

Illinois 9 New Jersey 3 

Maine 3 New York 13 

Massachusetts 35 Ohio 9 

Michigan 1 Pennsylvania 8 

Missouri 10 West Virginia 1 

New Hampshire 14 Wisconsin 5 

The plants centered chiefly in the following cities: Bingham- 
ton, N. Y.; Boston and environs; Chicago; Cincinnati; Man- 
chester, N. H.; Philadelphia; and St. Louis. 

The compilation of wage data in the boot and shoe industry, 
with reference to hours, is exceedingly difficult. The record 
of hours worked and hourly earnings is kept by very few 
establishments. The system of piece and day rates and task 
and bonus methods makes any compilation of accurate hourly 
data practically impossible. In this investigation, oi^t of 111 
plants, only 25 submitted sufficient data covering the actual 
hours of wage earners. In the stnistjcal tables, therefore, 
the average hours per wage earner and the hourly earnings, 
b6th for the composite and individual groups^ have been.con-^ 

U3 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



fined to the records of 25 establishments only, which furnished 
accurate information. The rest of the data covering numbers 
employed, weekly earnings, etc., is from the whole group of 
111 establishments. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners in 25 establishments show an increase of 112% 
from July, 1914 to October, 1920. The decline from the latter 
period up to July, 1921 was 7.6%, the increase in June, 
1921 being 96% over July, 1914. The whole trend of hourly 
earnings is, of course, dominated by the relation of piecework 
to the amount of work produced by wage earners. In actual 
figures, the rate for the whole group dropped 2.3 cents from 
June, 1920 up to July, 1921. In July, 1920, hourly earn- 
ings of common labor were 143% above 1914; in June, 1920 
those oi skilled labor were 110% above 1914, while the high 
point for hourly earnings for women was reached in October, 
with a peak of 132%. In June, 1921, the three groups showed 
increases over 1914 of 95%, 97% and 104% respectively. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners in 111 establishments increased 109% from 
July, 1914 to June, 1920 and declined 5.2% from the latter 
period up to July, 1921. The trough of decline was reached 
in November, 1920, when there was a reduction of 12.4% from 
the peak in June, 1920. The peak for male labor was reached 
in June, 1920, when weekly earnings of common labor were 
99%, and those of skilled labor 109% above 1914, and for 
women in March, 1921 when weekly earnings were 115% above 
1914. The declines from these peaks up to July, 1921 were 
5.9% for common labory 3.9% for skilled labor, and 8.3% for 
women. The male groups show a decline to November, 1920, 
a revival in December, and continuing fluctuations until the 
middle of 1921. Weekly earnings for women show a similar 
movement, with a peak in March, 1921. In June, 1921, the 
percentage increases over 1914 for these three groups were 
respectivdy 87%, 101% and 97%. 

The trend of weekly darnings is evidently not affected by 
changes m hourly e^tnings, but by the actual hours per Wage 
earner. It is evident thi^t- wage decline in the boot and shoe 
industry has been sHght'an'd gradual: Hourly Earnings have 

114 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBIVABK HOUHLV KAIININBB* 




350 






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800 




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WBBKLV BAIVNINBB 
•ge* 

•^gj LNOEX NUMBERS 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



115 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Houra 


Waves 
(All Wage Earners) 


OneWwk 
In 


1914-21 
Eitabl. 


Total 

All 

Eitabl. 


Av. 
Week 
Per 

Earner 


Av. 

Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hriy. 
Eamgt. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earagt. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 

July*.... 

1920 

, une 

uly 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921... 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


41,678 

47,076 
42,893 
41,026 
37,709 
35,955 
33,848 
34,122 

i ■ 
\ 

31,275 
35,811 
37,066 
37,441 
39,247 
40,910 


41,678 

57,451 
51,283 
50,024 
46,307 
44,121 
41,53e 
41,022 

37,777 
44,021 
45,922 
46,809 
49,260 
51,06e 


49.2 

44.8 
42.1 
40.4 
38.7 
39.6 
37.0 
39.9 

41.8 
41.9 
45.3 
44.3 
45.9 
46.0 


54.6 

48.3 
49.4 
46.3 
46.6 
45.6 
43.4 
41.8 

42.4 
45.9 
45.8 
47.0 
48.2 
48.3 


54.4 

48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 

48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 
48.6 


$.260 

.533 
.528 
.528 
.517 
.552 
.538 
.540 

.519 
.536 
.519 
.519 
.504 
.510 


$11. 6S 
24.36 

23.77 
23.33 
22.83 
21.95 
21.33 
21.54 

21.63 
24.06 
24.32 
23.53 
23.23 
23.18 


100 

205 
203 
203 
199 
212 
207 
208 

200 
206 
200 
200 
194 
196 


100 

209 
204 
200 
196 
188 
183 
184 

185 
206 
208 
201 
199 
198 



t25 establishments only. 

*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

been dominated by the number of hours worked. Hours, in 
turn, are influenced by the amount of production necessary, 
the basis of the industry being chiefly piecework for the pro- 
duction of finished stock. A decrease in the number of orders 
naturally makes the amount of production necessarily smaller. 
This, in turn, influences the number of hours to be worked 
and again the amount of wages earned. It is fair to say, how- 
ever, that reduction may have occurred previous to June, 
1920, the first month of record after July, 1914 in the present 
investigation. If wages were higher previous to the middle 
of 1920, the amount of deflation would naturally be greater. 
The record as given in this investigation, however, shows a 
gradual slight decrease, much smaller than in other basic 
industries. A comparison should be made with the wages in 
the leather industry, which are, of course, affected by condi- 
tions in boot and shoe manufacturing* 

11*6 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



IIBI 



Emplojrment 

The decline in the total number of wage earners employed 
from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 11.1%. The trough 
was reached in January, 1921 when there was a decline of 
34% from the peak. The Increase from the beginning of the 
year up to July, 1921 was 35%. The trend evidently 
reflects the sharp decline at the beginning of the year with 
marked recovery to June, the loss in the entire year 1920-1921 
being considerably smaller than in the great majority of basic 
industries. The greatest loss was among skilled wage earners, 
there having been a decline of approximately 12% from 
June. 1920. 

Comparison of Employment in identical establishments be- 
tween July, 1914 and July, 1921 shows that employment at 
the latter period was approximately 2% less than in July, 1914. 
The industry, therefore, has practically held its own during 
the present industrial depression. The expansion between 
July, 1914 and June, 1920 was a natural and normal growth, 
practically equal to the general expansion of industry during 
this period. On the whole, it would seem that the unemploy- 
ment problem is not so severe in the boot and shoe industry 
as in the great majority of basic industries. 

117 



Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
54.4. A general reduction of working hours took place during 
the war period, a drop being noted to 48.6 hours per week in 
June, 1920, the latter standard being maintained to the middle 
of 1921. 

The average week of plant operation closely follovred the 
trend in the reduction of hours in the nominal week, drop- 
ping from 54.6 in July, 1914 to 48.3 in June, 1920. A gradual 
decline occurred in plant activity, with a marked decrease 
in the last months of 1920, a minimum of 41.8 hours bemg 
reached in December. Recovery was marked during the 
early months of 1921, a gain of over six hours from the de- 
pression period being noted in June, 1921. 

The average week per wage earner as compiled from 25 estab- 
lishments follows the general trend in plant activity. The 
depression period, however, was reached in November, 1920 
when the average wage earner worked only 37 hours per week. 
A gain of nine hours was noted from the latter period up to 
July, 1921, showing the extent of recovery in the boot and shoe 
industry. Too much weight, however, should not be placed 
upon the comparison of the average week per wage earner 
and plant activity. As noted above, an analysis of hours is 
distinctly misleading. On the whole, however, the trend in 
the movement of hours points to a marked recovery in the 
industry in the spring months of 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. Decrease in weekly earnings has been slight in compari- 
son with most basic industries. Hourly earnings have gen- 
erally been maintained and weekly earnings were afFected 
only during the depression period in the winter of 1920-1921, 
due to part-time operation. 

2. The wage situation has been influenced more by the 
rate of production than by wage cutting. 

3. The decline of 1 1% in total employment from June, 1920 
up to July, 1921, indicates a considerably smaller reduction 
than in the great majority of basic industries. 

4. The number of people employed remained practically 
constant between July, 1914 and July, 1921. 

118 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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5. The hours of the nominal week were reduced during the 
war period, but remained practically stationary during 1920- 
1921. 

6. The average week of plant operation showed a marked 
reduction to the trough period in the winter of 1920 and a 
distinctive advance during the spring months of 1921. 

7. Indications point to a fairly healthy condition of the 
industry, with slight reductions in employment and in hourly 
and weekly earnings. 



120 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XIII 

MEAT PACKING 

The wage investigation in the meat packing industry in- 
cludes those establishments engaged in the slaughtering, 
dressing and packing of meats. Wage statistics were com- 
piled from 54 plants, employing 37,098 wage earners in 
June, 1920. Thirty-six of the establishments employed 
women. The data are representative of the industry, covering 
ten of the largest plants in the Chicago stock yards, and a 
good selection of independent plants scattered through the 
country. Over 22% of the wage earners listed in the 1919 
Census of Manufactures as being employed in the meat pack- 
ing industry are included in this report. The geographical 
distribution of plants within 24 states is as follows: 

Alabama 1 Minnesota 3 

California 1 Missouri 2 

Colorado 1 New Jersey 2 

Delaware 1 New York 2 

Illinois 12 Ohio. . 6 

Indiana 2 Oklahoma 1 

Iowa 2 Pennsylvania 5 

Kansas 2 Rhode Island 1 

Kentucky 1 Tennessee 1 

Maine 1 Texas 1 

Massachusetts 1 West Virginia 2 

Michigan 1 Wisconsin 2 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 174% from July, 1914 to 
July, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 
1921 was 15.3%, when the net increase was 132% overjuly, 
1914. The peak was reached in the summer of 1920, and was 
generally maintained until toward the close of the year. In 
March, 1921 a marked decline was shown in hourly earnings. 
This was the result of the 12j^% to 15% wage reduction made 
in the Chicago meat packing industry. The minimum wage in 
this locality was cut from 53 to 45 cents an hour. As ten of 
the largest companies included in the present investigation 

121 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



are Chicago meat packing houses, the entire wage curves may 
be said to be affected by this local situation. The drop in 
weekly earnings is also due to the wage cut made at this 
time. 

In June, 1920 hourly earnings of common labor had in- 
creased 199% over July, 1914; those of skilUd labor, 156%; 
and of womeriy 239%. The decline from June, 1920 up to 
July, 1921 amounted to 17.1% for common labor, 15.2% for 
skilled labor, and 19.1% for women. In June, 1921, the per- 
centage increases over July, 1914 for the three groups were 
respectively 148%, 117% and 174%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 136% from July, 1914 to July, 1920, 
and declined from the latter period up to July, 1921, 16.4%, 
showing a net increase in the middle of June, 1921 of 97% over 
July, 1914. 

At their respective high points in September, 1920 and 
June, 1920, weekly earnings of common labor were 160%, and 
oi skilled labor, 120% above 1914. In October weekly earnings 
of women had increased 202%. In June, 1921 the declines 
from the high point were 18.9% for common labor, 16.3% for 
skilled labor and 21.7% for women. In June, 1921, the per- 
centages of increase over July, 1914 for these three groups 
were respectively, 111%, 84% and 137%. 

Emplojnnent 

The total decline in employment from June, 1920 up to 
July, 1921 was 22.7%. The trend of employment shows a 
gradual decrease of 28% from June, 1920 to April, 1921, fol- 
lowed by a rise of 8% to June. The declines from June, 1920 
up to July, 1921 by groups, were as follows: unskilled labor, 
24%; skilled labor, 17%; women, 38%. 

The increase in employment in identical establishments from 
July, 1914 to June, 1920 was 41%. The comparison of June, 
1921 and July, 1914 shows a composite increase of 8.4% in 
the total numbers employed. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
58.8. Corresponding with the general reduction of working 

122 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBIVABK HOUfftV KARNINOB 




isei iai4 iBBo 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



123 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 


1914-21 

31,400 

31,637 
31,084 
31,013 
29,843 
28,%2 

26,516 
26,406 
24,542 
22.2(^3 
2J,50f) 
24,052 


Total 

All 

Establ. 


Av. 

Week 

^^ge 
Earners 


Av. 
Hrs. 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 




Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*. . 

1920 

. une 

. uly 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


22,186 

37,09^ 
37,064 
37,007 
36,348 
36,264 
35,177 
34,240 

31,673 
31,402 
29,242 
26,544 
28,073 
28,685 


56.6 

48.6 
48.7 
47.6 
49.1 
49.4 
48.8 
47.0 

48.2 
46.2 
47.2 
47.2 
46.3 
48.2 


58.6 

49.0 
48.9 
48.3 
48.6 
49.3 
48.9 
47.8 

48.5 
47.6 
47.9 
47.9 
47.9 
48.6 


58.8 

51.8 
51.8 
51.8 
51.8 
51.8 
51.8 
51.8 

52.0 
52.0 
51.9 
51.9 
51.9 
51.9 


$.215 

.587 
.588 
.582 
.581 
.578 
.584 
.579 

.570 
.572 
.523 
.510 
.507 
.498 


$12.18 

28.56 
28.66 
27.69 
28.55 
28.53 
28.50 
27.22 

27.45 
26.43 
24.66 
24.07 
23.47 
23. 9r. 


100 

273 
274 
271 
270 
269 
272 
269 

265 
266 
243 
238 
236 
232 


100 

234 
236 
228 
234 
234 
234 
224 

226 
217 
203 
199 
193 
197 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

hours during the war period, there was a drop to 51.8 hours 
per week in June, 1920. This standard of hours remained 
practically stationary to the middle of June, 1921. 

The trend of actual average hours of plant operation shows 
a reduction from 58.6 in July, 1914 to 49 in June, 1920. The 
remainder of the trend shows fluctuations, but, on the whole, 
the actual hours of plant operation have been close to the 
average hours of the nominal week. The meat packing in- 
dustry has been little aflPected, therefore, by the economic 
depression existing in basic industries. Demand for meat 
and meat products continued, even though industry in general 
was passing through a period of retrenchment. 

The average actual hours per wage earner showed a decline 
from 56.6 in July, 1914 to 48.6 in June, 1920. This obviously 
followed the trend in reduction of hours in plant operation and 
hours of the nominal week. The months of 1920 and 1921 

124 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




ISI4. lazo I9CI lau iko 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



BQ 


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show a general uniformity except in the month of Februafy, 
1921, when a low point of 46.2 hours was reached. The ir- 
regularity in the spring months was probably reflective of 
part-time operations, and labor conditions existing in some of 
the larger companies. On the whole, hours in the meat 
packing industry show only a slight decline in comparison 
with the large reduction of hours in metal working trades and 
textiles during this period. 

Conclusion 

1. General wage reduction is approximately on the same 
level with many other basic industries. 

2. Employment declined 23% from the peak up to July, 
1921., 

3. The total number of wage earners increased 8% from 
July, 1914 up to July, 1921. 

4. The average hours of the nominal week declined from 
58.8 in July, 1914 to approximately 52 hours in 1920-1921. 

5. Plant activity reflects a small amount of part-time 
operation during the depression period in comparison with 
other basic industries. 

125 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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126 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XIV 

CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING 

A. Chemicals 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish- 
ments engaged in the manufacture of acids, salts, dye stufFs 
and other chemical products. A separate section has been 
devoted to an analysis of wage conditions in fertilizer manu- 
facturing. Returns were received from 83 plants, employing 
22,450 wage earners in July, 1920. Women were employed 
in 21 of these plants. Over 34% of the wage earners listed 
in the 1919 Census of Manufactures as then employed in this 
industry are covered in this investigation. The data are 
representative as to wage earners, distribution and size of 
establishments involved. The geographical distribution within 
22 states and the District of Columbia is as follows: 

Alabama 1 Massachusetts 5 

California 3 Michigan 4 

Colorado 1 Missouri 2 

Connecticut 1 New Jersey 17 

Delaware 1 New York 13 

District of Columbia 1 North Carolina 2 

Geor^a 1 Ohio 5 

Illinois 2 Pennsylvania 8 

Indiana 2 Rhode Island 2 

Kansas 2 West Virginia 4 

Kentucky 2 Wisconsin 2 

Maryland 2 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 153% from July, 1914 to July, 1920. 
The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 was 
15.8%. At that time the increase was 113% over 1914. The 
trend reflects a gradual decline throughout the entire period, 
the most severe reduction in hourly earnings occurring be- 
tween February and March, 1921. 

In July, 1920 the hourly earnings of the male labor group 
showed increases above 1914 of 164% for common labor and 

127 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



139% for skilled labor. The high point of hourly earnings for 
tvomen was reached in June, 1920, when the increase over 
1914 was 156%. The percentages of decrease for the three 
groups from these various peaks up to July, 1921 were as 
follows: common labor, 17.8%; skilled labor, 13.7%; tvometiy 
12.9%. In June, 1921, the hourly earnings of common labor 
were 117%, those of skilled labor 106%, and those of tvomen^ 
123% over 1914. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 134% from July, 1914 to 
September, 1920, and declined 19.6% from the latter period 
up to July, 1921, leaving a net increase of 88% over July, 
1914. The trend shows a gradual decline since the peak. 
The reduction of hourly earnings has influenced the general 
tendency more than fluctuations in working hours. 

The peak of weekly earnings of common labor was reached 
in August, 1920, when the increase over 1914 was 141%; in 
September, 1920 those of skilled labor showed an increase of 
130%, and in June and in September, women were receiving 
103% more weekly wages than in 1914. The declines in these 
groups from their respective peaks up to July, 1921 were 
as follows: common labor, 19.4%; skilled labor, 21.7%; women, 
7.7%. At the latter period the percentages of increase for 
the three groups were respectively 94%, 80%, and 88%. 

There was a slight rise in weekly earnings for all groups be- 
tween May and June, 1921, due to longer working hours. 

Employment 

From July, 1920 up to July, 1921 the decline in the total 
number of wage earners employed was 46%. Employ- 
ment began to decrease in August, followed by slight declines 
through November. Beginning in December, more severe re- 
ductions took place, and the remainder of the period up to 
July, 1921 has seen a continual decrease. The percentages of 
decline from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 for these three groups 
were as follows: common labor, 48%; skilled labor, 43%; 
women, 41%. The severe decline in employment is due to 
the cessation of demand for the products of this industry during 
the period of industrial depression. 

Between July, 1914 and June, 1920 the increase in employ- 
ment in identical establishments was 79%. In June, 1921, 

128 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



EMra 




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AVKRABK 

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HOUWLV KAWNINBB 
•^ INDEX 


NUMBERS 










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WBBKLV BAHNINBB 

INDEX NUMBERS 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



129 



Digitized by 



Google 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


IVases 
(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 
In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 

Establ. 


Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 


Av. 
Hrs. 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 

Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 

Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 




Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

une 

:uiy 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov.... 
Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


9,971 

17,830 
18,055 
17,917 
17,987 
18,535 
17,273 
14,062 

11,973 
11,694 
11,250 
10,645 
10,749 
10,514 


9fi71 

22,242 
22,450 
22,052 
21,648 
21,823 
20,194 
16,505 

14,024 
13,692 
13,182 
12,414 
12,272 
12,122 


55.6 

50.9 
51.1 
51.4 
51.6 
51.9 
49.1 
46.8 

46.0 
46.3 
48.5 
48.5 
48.0 
49.0 


113.4 

113.0 
112.3 

116.1 
115.7 
116.5 
114.9 
111.9 

112.^ 
108.1 
107.4 
108.9 
107.2 
110.7 


56.8 

53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 

53.4 
53.3 
53.3 
53.0 
53.0 
53.0 


$.238 

.594 
.603 
.602 
.600 
.593 
.594 
.591 

.568 
.551 
.517 
.516 
.512 
.508 


$13.26 

30.24 
30.77 
30.91 
30.97 
30.82 
29.13 
27.68 

26.16 
25.55 
25.08 
25.03 
24.61 
24.90 


100 

250 
253 
253 
252 
249 
250 
248 

239 
232 
217 
217 
215 
213 


100 

228 
232 
233 
234 
232 
220 
209 
• 

197 
193 
189 
189 
186 
188 



♦1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

employment in identical establishments had almost returned 
to the 1914 level. 

Hours 

Average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 56.8. 
Following the general reduction of working hours during the 
war period, the hours dropped to 53.4 in June, 1920, the latter 
standard being maintained practically to March, 1921. At 
that time there was a further drop to 53 hours per week, which 
was maintained through June. 

The actual week of plant operation in this two-shift industry 
shows a reduction from 113.4 hours in July, 1914 to 113 hours 
in June, 1920. Plant activity was well sustained in 1920, but 
declined severely in the spring months of 1921. 

The actual week per wage earner declined from 55.6 hours 
in July, 1914 to 50.9 hours in June, 1920. There was a slight 
increase in working hours during the next month, but in No- 

130 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




f^ AVCRABC 


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(National Industrial Conference Board) 

vember declines again took place. In January, 1921 the 
low point of 46 hours per week was reached. Conditions 
improved slightly in February. From March up to July, 
working hours increased to an average of approximately 48j^ 
hours per week, showing a return to more normal productive 
activity. 

Conclusion 

Investigation indicate.s gradual decline in weekly and 
hourly earnings and a tendency to severe reductions in em- 
ployment rather than curtailment of manufacturing hours. 
Specifically, the report shows: 

1. Decrease in both weekly and hourly earnings has been 
on the general level with the average found in other basic 
industries. 

2. A severe decline in total employment of 46% has been 
caused by cessation in demand during the depression period. 

3. The depression period occurred at the beginning of 1921, 
with marked revival in working hours toward the middle of 
the year. 



131 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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132 



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B. Fertilizer Manufacturing 

The wage investigation in this industry is confined to estab- 
lishments manufacturing agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. 
The conditions in these branches of the chemical industry are 
so different from those in other chemical manufacturing that 
separate classification was made. The fertilizer manufacturing 
industry is generally confined to plants in southern states em- 
ploying a large proportion of common labor. In addition, sea- 
sonal fluctuations are marked in this industry. A total of 
66 establishments was covered, employing 8,522 wage earners 
at the high point in August, 1920. The number of female 
wage earners was not tabulated, as the total number of this 
group is relatively small. Over 37% of the wage earners listed 
in the 1914 Census of Manufactures in this industry are 
covered in this investigation. The geographical distribution 
within 20 states is as follows: 

Alabama 3 Michigan 1 

Arkansas 1 New Hampshire 1 

California 3 New Jersey 4 

Connecticut 1 North Carolina 7 

Florida 4 Ohio 7 

Georgia 14 Pennsylvania 1 

Illinois 1 South Carolina 7 

Indiana 1 Tennessee 1 

Louisiana 1 Texas 1 

Maryland 3 Virginia 4 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 135% from July, 1914 to 
September, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to 
July, 1921 was 28.7%, leaving in June, 1921 a net increase 
of 67% above 1914. The trend of hourly earnings shows a 
well-sustained level through November, 1920. Beginning in 
December, wage cutting began to take eff^ect, with more severe 
reductions continuing in 1921. A slight increase occurred be- 
tween March and June, 1921. 

The peak of hourly earnings for common labor was reached 
in September, 1920, when there was an increase of 133% 
above 1914, while those oi skilled labor were 161% higher in 
August, 1920. The percentages of decline from these peaks 
up to July, 1921 were, for common labor, 35% and for skilled 

133 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



lahofy 20.4%. In the middle of June, 1921, common labor was 
still 52% above 1914 and skilled labor 108%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 127% from July, 1914 to July, 1920 
and declined 34.2% from the latter period up to July, 1921, 
leaving a net increase of 49%. Weekly earnings maintained 
a high level through October, 1920. Beginning in November, 
due to reductions in both hourly earnings and working hours, 
decreases began to occur. At the beginning of 1921 these 
became more severe and continued even more rapidly during 
the early months of the spring. There was a slight revival in 
May and June, due to an increase in both hourly earnings 
and working hours. 

The peak of weekly earnings for common labor was reached 
in July, 1920, when there was shown an increase of 121%'above 
1914. Wages declined 40.4% from this point up to July, 
1921. At this time they were 32% above 1914. The peak 
for skilled labor was reached in August, 1920 when there was 
indicated an increase of 172% above 1914. Wages remained 
practically stationary until November, when the general 
decline began, which continued up to July, 1921, amounting 
to 25.6%. In June, 1921 wages for the skilled labor group 
were 103% above 1914. 

Employment 

The total decline in the number of wage earners employed 
from August, 1920 up to July, 1921 was approximately 
65.9%. A steady decline occurred to February, 1921. In 
March there was a marked increase in employment, due to 
seasonal conditions, followed by a steady decline to June, 
1921, amounting to 62.1%. The percentages of decline from 
the peak in employment were, for common labor, 69%, and 
for skilled labor, 50.6%. Comparison of employment in 
identical establishments between July, 1914 and August, 1920 
shows a 55.3% increase. In June, 1921, approximately 
38.2% fewer wage earners were employed than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 amount- 
.ed to 60. A small decrease took place in the following years, so 

134 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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HOUW1.V BAWNINBB 

moex 




1914 I sea 



JUH JUL 4U; XW OCT tW 



WBBKLV BAHNINBB 

INDEX 

INDEX NUMBEPB 



IMI 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



3ZS 




























300 




























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289 

soo 




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s 


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1 


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1 









135 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Waees 
(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 
In 


1914-21 
Ettabl. 


Total 

All 

Escabl. 


Av. 

Week 

Per 

Wage 

Earner 


Av. 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 

* inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Eaingt 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Eamgs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 




Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.... 

1920 

. une 

.uly 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov 

Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

March.. 

April 

May 

June 


3^67 

3,976 
4,146 
5,074 
4,716 
4,349 
3,996 
3,964 

3,498 
3,673 
4,625 
3,637 
2,339 
2,018 


3^67 

6,252 
6,865 
8,522 
7,999 
7,329 
6,809 
6,286 

5,421 
5,520 
7,667 
6,005 
3,372 
2,908 


55.8 

53.4 
54.5 
52.1 
52.7 
53.2 
51.2 
53.4 

51.4 
51.2 
49.4 
48.1 
51.0 
49.8 


59.0 
56.7 

58.4 
57.0 
56.5 

55.5 
56.4 

55.7 

57.2 
56.5 
55.5 
55.0 
57.2 
52.5 


60.0 

58.4 
58.4 
58.4 
58.4 
58.3 
58.2 
58.2 

58.2 
58.2 
58.1 
58.1 
58.0 
58.0 


$.202 

.466 
.469 
.470 
.474 
.467 
.457 
.437 

.388 
.365 
.325 
.328 
.336 
.338 


$11. 2i^ 

24.87 
25.5^ 
24.51 
25.02 
24.85 
23.47 
23.36 

19.90 

18.70 
16.06 
15.77 
17.13 
16.84 


100 
231 

232 
233 
235 
231 
226 
216 

192 
181 
161 
162 
166 
167 


100 

220 
227 
217 
222 
221 
208 
207 

176 
166 
142 
140 
152 
149 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

that in June, 1920 the average hours were 58.4. In June, 1921 
the nominal week was 58 hours. 

The average week of plant operation decreased from 59 hours 
in July, 1914 to 56.7 hours in June, 1921. The slight stimulus 
in employment in the summer of 1920 also shows in the rise 
in plant hours. Beginning with October, however, there was 
a slight tendency toward decrease in plant activity, but, 
generally speaking, the level of plant activity has been well 
sustained through the period of industrial depression. A 
large reduction occurred between May and June, 1921, amount- 
ing to over 43^ hours. 

The average week per wage earner amounted to 55.8 hours in 
July, 1914. In June, 1920 there was a decrease to 53.4 hours. 
Declines were noted in August and September, 1920, but the 
average working week was well maintained through 1920 and 
the opening months of 1921. The depression, however, began 

136 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



to take efFect in March and April, followed by a revival in 
May and a recession in June, 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. The decline in hourly earnings has been far more ex- 
tensive than in chemical manufacturing, and considerably 
above the average in other basic industries. 

2. The decline in weekly earnings has been due not so much 
to a decrease in working hours as to wage reductions. The 
fertilizer industry has been very directly affected by indus- 
trial depression. The early deflation of farm products cur- 
tailed the buying power and credit of farmers, who have not 
been purchasing as much as in former years. The consequence 
was an early cessation of demand for agricultural chemicals. 
The tendency has been for reduction in employment rather 
than a curtailment of plant activity. The workers who have 
been retained upon the payroll have also worked fairly 
constant hours. 

3. While this industry has been permanently affected by 
industrial conditions, the indirect effect of seasonal fluctua- 
tions should also be considered. These are shown in the ir- 
regularities in employment and hours of plant activity. 

137 



Digitized by V^OOQ IC 



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XV 

PAINT AND VARNISH MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry covers plants 
engaged in the manufacture of white lead, colors, paint and 
varnish. Returns were received from 58 plants, 29 of which 
employed women. The total number of wage earners covered 
at the high point in August, 1920 was 3,978. The coverage 
represents over 17% of the wage earners listed in the 1919 
Census of Manufactures, as then employed in this industry. 
The geographical distribution within 15 states is as follows: 

California 3 New Jersey 4 

Colorado 1 New York 

Delaware 1 Ohio 1 

Illinois 4 Pennsylvania 

Indiana 3 Rhode Island 

Massachusetts 5 Texas 

Michigan 4 Wisconsin 2 . 

Missouri 4 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 112% from July, 1914 to 
July, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 
was 8.8%. In June, 1921, hourly earnings stood 94% over 
July, 1914. The decline throughout 1920-21 has been moderate 
and gradual. The peak for male labor was reached in July, 
1920, when common labor showed an increase of 119% and 
skilled labor 102% over 1914. The peak for women was 
reached in January, 1921, when the increase over July, 1914 
reached 105%. The declines for these groups from the peak 
months up to July, 1921 were 8.9% for common labor y 10.6% 
for skilled labor and 2.5% for women. In June, 1921, the per- 
centages of increase above July, 1914 for these three groups 
were respectively 99%, 81% and 100%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 101% between July, 1914 and July, 

139 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921, 
amounted to 12.6%. The period has been characterized by 
gradual and moderate declines resulting more from reduction 
in working hours than from wage decreases. In June, 1921, 
the net increase over 1914 amounted to 75%. 

The high point of weekly earnings for common labor was 
reached in July, 1920 when there was an increase of 110%, 
and in September, 1920 for skilled labor with an increase of 
87% over July, 1914. The peak for women was not reached 
until November, when their weekly earnings had increased 
92% over 1914. The declines for each of these groups from 
the peak months up to July, 1921 were 13.5% for common 
labory 13.3% for skilled labor^ and 5.8% for women. In June, 

1921, the percentages of increase above 1914 for each of these 
groups were respectively 82%, 62% and 81%. 

Decline in wages has been moderate, with gradual decreases 
occurring throughout the period of the investigation. The 
reduction of both hourly and weekly earnings has been less 
than the average in other basic industries. 

Employment 

Total employment decreased 31.3% from August, 1920, 
up to 'July, 1921. The trough period was reached in 
March and a slight increase occurred between the latter 
period and the end of 1921. Employment has been at least 
indirectly affected by stagnation in demand for the products 
of this industry, caused by conditions in the building trades, 
and by a stoppage of general domestic consumption. 

The total number of employees in identical establishments 
increased 71% between July, 1914, and June, 1920. In June, 
1921, 35% more employees were occupied in identical estab- 
lishments than in July, 1914. Comparison between the 
Census of 1914 and that of 1919 shows a rise of over 45% in 
the number of wage earners employed. The present wage 
investigation shows a greater growth in identical establish- 
ments than for the industry as a whole. 

Hours 

The hours of the nominal week in July, 1914, were 52.3. 
Following the general reduction in length of working hours 

140 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKHABK H0UW1.V KANNINM 




INDEX NUMBgPB 



jUiJCAVuptOCTW 





IBSQ 
WBBKLV BABNINBB 



jAnrc|M<»tfimy#K 



^ 



1814 1180 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



390 


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INDEX 


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173 
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141 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wace Earnen 
Emplored 


ATeraceHoon 


Wacet 
(AnWa^Eameit) 








At. 


At. 








Index No«. 


One 


1914-21 


Total 


Week 


Hour* 


Nom- 


At. 


At. 


Eaminc* 


Week 


Eatabl. 


All 


Per 


Plant 


ina! 


Hriy. 


Wkly. 




In 




Ettabl. 


Wace 
Earner 


Opera- 
tion 


Week 


Eamgt. 


Eamgs. 


Hriy. 


Wkly. 


J914 




















July*.. 


1,073 


ijyrs 


51.3 


52.1 


52.3 


%.Z!2 


%13.96 


100 


lOO 


1920 




















une. . . 
/uly... 


1,838 


3,819 


48.6 


50.9 


50.1 


.575 


27.93 


211 


200 


1,855 


3,931 


48.4 


50.0 


50.1 


.578 


28.00 


212 


201 


Aug — 


1,936 


3,978 


48.0 


49.4 


50.1 


.569 


27.31 


209 


196 


Sept . . . 


1,963 


3,821 


48.1 


50.0 


50.1 


.568 


27.34 


209 


196 


Oct.... 


1,901 


3,603 


48.7 


50.4 


50.1 


.562 


27.39 


207 


196 


Nov . . . 


1,729 


3,285 


48.0 


48.4 


50.1 


.555 


26.62 


204 


191 


Dec... 


1,586 


2,879 


46.9 


47.8 


50.0 


.558 


26.19 


205 


188 


J921 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


1,472 


2,708 


45.7 


47.0 


50.0 


.555 


25.37 


204 


182 


1,488 


2,711 


46.3 


47.6 


50.0 


.546 


25.27 


201 


181 


March . 


1,416 


2,673 


47.1 


48.0 


50.0 


.543 


25.58 


200 


183 


April.. . 
May. . . 


1,454 


2,708 


45.7 


48.2 


50.0 


.535. 


24.43 


197 


175 


1,422 


2,704 


46.3 


46.9 


50.0 


.535 


24.79 


197 


178 


June. . . 


1,452 


2,732 


46.4 


47.5 


50.0 


.527 


24.46 


194 


175 



♦1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

during the war period, the week was reduced to 50.1 hours in 
June, 1920. The latter standard was maintained throughout 
1920-1921. 

The actual week oj plant operation of 52.1 hours in July, 1914, 
was reduced to 50.9 hours in June, 1920. In the fall of 1920 
reduction in plant activity began to occur, reaching a trough 
period at the beginning of 1921. A slight revival occurred in 
the spring, though in June, 1921, there was a loss of 3.4 hours 
from the preceding year in plant activity. 

The actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 51.3 
hours in July, 1914, to 48.6 hours in June, 1920. The depres- 
sion took effect in December, reaching in January the low level 
of 45.7 hours. There was a slight increase during the spring 
months of 1921. The reduction in hours has affected earnings 
more directly than wage cutting, yet the tendency has been 
to reduce the number of wage earners rather than cut hours 
severely. 

142 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



NU MBEW DF W^BC BAimglta 




TlW^ 




IBSl 



I«I4. IMO 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 






Conclusion 

1. The decrease of 8.8% shown in hourly earnings and 
the reduction of 12.6% in weekly earnings is less than in many 
other basic industries. The tendency has been to reduce hours 
rather than wages. 

2. Reduction of wages for women has been less than for 
male employees. 

3. Stagnation in demand has caused a curtailment of work- 
ing hours and a decrease of 31.3% in employment. 

4. In general, wages in June, 1921, were still on a high 
level in comparison with general wage conditions. 



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144 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XVI 

PAPER MANUFACTURING 

A. Paper and Wood Pulp Manufacturing 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish- 
ments producing paper and wood pulp. It does not include 
secondary paper manufacturing, which has been classified 
under a separate industrial section entitled, "Paper Products 
Manufacturing.** Returns were received from 122 plants, 
employing 30,792 wage earners at the high point in July, 1920. 
Women were employed in 78 plants. Over 26% of the wage 
earners listed by the 1919 Census of Manufactures in this 
industry were covered in this investigation. The geographical 
distribution within Canada and 19 states is as follows: 

Canada 3 New Hampshire 2 

Connecticut 3 New Jersey 6 

Illinois 1 New York 26 

Indiana 1 Ohio 9 

Iowa 1 Pennsylvania 5 

Maine 10 Virginia 1 

Maryland 1 Vermont 4 

Massachusetts 25 Washington. 1 

Michigan. 6 West Virginia 1 

Minnesota. 2 Wisconsin 14 



Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all wage 
earners increased 169% from July, 1914 to November, 1920. 
The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 amount- 
ed to 14.7%, showing a net increase in June, 1921 of 129% over 
1914. The trend reflects a gradual decline throughout the 
entire year. The most severe reductions occurred in the 
spring months of 1921. In October, 1920, the hourly earnings 
of common labor were 170% above 1914. In November, 1920, 
those oi skilled labor showed an increase of 149% and in July, 
1920, those of women were 193% higher than in 1914. The 
percentages of decline for the three groups from the respective 
peaks up to July, 1921, were as follows: common labor, 

145 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



17.2%; skilled labor, 12.5%; womeny 14.1%. There was a 
slight rise for skilled men and for women between May and 
June, 1921; otherwise, there has been a gradual decline for all 
three groups from the high point. In June, 1921, the hourly 
earnings of common labor were 123% over 1914, those of 
skilled labor, 118%, and those of women, 151%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 156% from July, 1914 to 
October, 1920 and from the latter period up to July, 1921 
declined 24.1%, leaving a net increase of 94% over July, 1914. 

The peak of weekly earnings for the male labor group oc- 
curred in October, 1920, when those oi common labor showed an 
increase of 152% and those oi skilled labor an increase of 130% 
over 1914. The peak for women was reached in both July 
and September, 1920, when there was an increase of 196% 
over 1914. The percentages of decrease for these three groups 
from their respective peaks up to July, 1921 were: common 
labor, 25.1%; skilled labor, 21.5%; women, 30.8%. In June, 
1921, the weekly earnings of common labor were 89% above 
1914, those of skilled labor, 81%, and those oi women, 105%. 

Both hourly and weekly earnings were sustained through 
the months of 1920. The result of wage cutting and part- 
time operation began to take marked effect in February, 1921 
and there have been continued reductions, particularly in 
weekly earnings, since that time. The loss of working hours 
more than extensive wage cutting has affected earnings. 

Employment 

The decHne in the total number of wage earners employed 
from the high point in July, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 
48.6%. As extensive strikes were occurring in many of the 
plants between April and June, 1921, a true comparison of 
employment conditions should be made only between July, 
1920 and April, 1921, when the decline amounted to 19.8%. 
While the strike conditions reflect unemployment, the situa- 
tion is not comparable with general unemployment conditions 
existing in other basic industries. The most extensive decline 
in employment in any group between the summer of 1920 and 
April, 1921 occurred among female wage earners. 

Total employment increased 47% in identical establish- 

146 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBttAaC HOUWL.V BAWNINBB 




1114 1180 



(National Industrial Conference Board) 



147 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 







Composite Payroll Data 








Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 








Ay. 


Ay. 








Index Not. 


One 


1914-21 


Total 


Week 


Hours 


Nom- 


Ay. 


Ay. 


Earnings 


Week 


Establ. 


All 


Per 


Plant 


inal 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 




In 




Eatabl. 


Wage 
Earner 


Opera- 
tion 


Week 


Eamgs. 


Eamgs. 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


t014 




















July*.. 


14,174 


14,174 


54.7 


138.3 


57.6 


$.223 


$12.20 


100 


100 


1920 




















. une . . 
! uly . . . 


20,842 


30,585 


51.4 


142.5 


50.8 


.590 


30.30 


265 


248 


20,906 


30,792 


51.7 


141.8 


50.8 


.591 


30.51 


265 


250 


Aug. . . 


20,798 


30,711 


51.9 


141.7 


50.8 


.594 


30.87 


266 


253 


Sept . . . 


20,945 


30,750 


51.8 


141.7 


50.8 


.595 


30.83 


267 


253 


Oct.... 


20,939 


30,676 


52.4 


140.7 


50.8 


.596 


31.22 


267 


256 


Nov... 


20,431 


30,053 


51.4 


139.1 


50.8 


.599 


30.78 


269 


252 


Dec... 


19,741 


29,125 


48.9 


131.9 


50.7 


.597 


29.16 


268 


239 


mi 




















is.:.: 


17,696 


26,191 


48.2 


132.5 


50.7 


.594 


28.65 


266 


235 


17,872 


25,735 


46.2 


130.3 


50.6 


.577 


26.65 


259 


218 


March . 


16,621 


23,779 


44.7 


122.8 


50.6 


.565 


25.28 


253 


207 


April.. . 
May... 


16,561 


24,692 


45.5 


126.3 


50.6 


.554 


25.21 


248 


207 


14,971 


17,085 


47.6 


124.0 


50.6 


.513 


24.39 


230 


200 


June.. . 


14,254 


15,812 


46.4 


125.7 


50.7 


.511 


23.71 


229 


194 



♦1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

ments between July, 1914 and June, 1920. In June, 1921, 
employment had fallen to practically the 1914 level. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
57.6. Following the general reduction in. working hours dur- 
ing the war period, the hours dropped to 50.8 in June, 1920, 
the latter standard having been practically maintained 
throughout 1920-1921. 

The actual week of plant operation showed an increase from 
138.3 hours in July, 1914 to 142.5 hours in June, 1920. In 
December, 1920, a marked reduction to 131.9 hours oc- 
curred, and in the opening months of 1921, the decline con- 
tinued. The depression month in March was followed by a 
revival in April, but strike conditions brought about declines 
in May and June. 

The actual week per wage earner showed a decline from 54.7 
hours in July, 1914, to 51.4 hours in June, 1920. There was a 

148 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



f.ia»yci NUMaew or wme eAWweiw 



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ygpApg MOuw a 



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IBM IBtO 

(NaticnaJ Industrial Ccnference Board) 



IBtl 



tendency toward an increase of working hours culminating 
in a slight peak in October, 1920. Beginning in December, 
there was a marked decline which continued to the trough 
period in March, 1921. April and May showed a marked 
increase in working hours, but labor conditions in June forced 
a reduction. 

Conclusion 

1. The decrease in hourly earnings has been slightly below 
the general level of that occurring in many other basic in- 
dustries. Reduction in weekly earnings has been extensive, 
due to the decline of working hours. 

2. The period of April, May and June, 1921 is difEcuIt of 
interpretation on account of labor conditions existing in a 
large proportion of the plants studied. 

3. Total employment declined approximately 20% be- 
tween July, 1920 and April, 1921, and 49% between July, 
1920 and June, 1921. 

4. The trend of hours of plant activity best reflects the 
condition of this industry, showing substantial production 
though November, 1920, marked declines in the first three 
months of 1921, and unsettled conditions in May and June. 

149 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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150 



Digitized by LaOOQ IC 



B. Paper Products Manufacturing 

The wage investigation in this industry is confined to 
establishments engaged in the manufacture of paper products, 
such as paper boxes, cardboard, envelopes and miscellaneous 
paper goods. Wage schedules were received from 56 plants, 
employing 8,705 wage earners at the high point in October, 
1920. Women were employed in 53 of these plants. Ap- 
proximately 29% of the wage earners listed in the 1919 Census 
of Manufactures as being then employed in this industry 
were included in the present investigation. The geographical 
distribution, within 16 states, is as follows: 

California 1 Michigan 4 

Colorado. 1 Minnesota 1 

Connecticut 4 New Jersey 1 

Illinois 5 New York 4 

Indiana 5 Ohio 5 

Iowa. 1 Pennsylvania 3 

Maine 1 Rhode Island 1 

Massachusetts 17 Wisconsin 2 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 154% from July, 1914 to September, 
1920, and from the latter period up to July, 1921 decreased 
4.9%, leaving a net increase of 142% over 1914. The trend 
shows practically a stationary condition throughout the entire 
period, although temporary depression was indicated in De- 
cember, 1920. 

The hourly earnings of common labor in September, 1920 
had increased 189% over 1914. Those oi skilled labor showed 
an increase of 151% in November and December, 1920, 
while those oi women reached a peak of 141% in October, 1920. 
The percentages of decline from these various peaks up to 
July, 1921 were as follows: common labor ^ 14.9%; skilled labor ^ 
5.6%; women, 1.7%. In the middle of June, 1921, the hourly 
earnings of common labor were 146% above 1914, while those of 
skilled labor and women showed an increase of 137% each. 

(b) Weekly earnings: The composite weekly earnings of 
all wage earners showed an increase of 139% from July, 1914 to 
September, 1920 and declined 20.4% from the latter period 
up to July, 1921, leaving a net increase of 90% over 1914. 
The trend shows a gradual decUne through February, 1921, 

151 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



In March, a temporary revival due to longer working hours 
occurred, but reduction continued in April. May and June, 
however, showed a slight stimulation. 

The high point of weekly earnings for common labor occurred 
in July, 1920, when there was an increase of 154% over July, 
1914; those of skilled labor reached a peak of 140% in Septem- 
ber, 1920; and in October, the high point of 129% was reached 
for women. The percentages of decline from these various 
peaks up to July, 1921 were as follows: common labor, 31.5%; 
skilled labor, 21.5%; women, 17.1%. The percentages of 
increase over 1914 for each of the three groups up to July, 
1921 were respectively 74%, 89% and 89%. 

In general, the reduction in working hours has had more 
eflFect upon the trend of wages than wage cutting. Hourly 
earnings have shown only a slight reduction, while weekly 
earnings have shown a marked decline, due to reduction in 
working hours. 

Employment 

The total number of wage earners declined approximately 
34.4% from October, 1920 up to July, 1921. The decline 
in employment proceeded more rapidly at the beginning 
of 1921 and continued throughout the spring of 1921 except 
for the month of April, when there was a slight revival. 
The decline in employment has affected common labor and 
women more seriously than skilled labor. Employment in 
identical establishments increased from July, 1914 to June, 
1920 approximately 34.1%. In the middle of June, 1921, 
the total number of wage earners was 4% lower than the 1914 
level. In general, the employment problem in this industry 
has not been so serious as in many other basic industries. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week were reduced from 

54.2 in July, 1914 to 50 in June, 1920. The latter standard 
has been practically maintained throughout 1920 and the 
first half of 1921. 

The average hours of plant operation showed a decline from 

52.3 in July, 1914 to 51.5 in June, 1920. The depression 
period began to take effect in November, 1920 and became 
marked through the following months, reaching a trough in 

152 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKIIABB HOUWLV BAKNINBB 

iNoex 
ACTUAL FieUWES "Sff^. INDEX NUMBEffS 




1881 1814 1880 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



153 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Periodl 


No. Wage Earners 
employed 


Average Hourt 


W 
(All Wage 


^l^mert) 








Ay. 


Av. . 








Index Not. 


One 


1914-21 


Total 


Week 


Hourt 


Nom- 


Av. 


Av. 


Earnings 


Week 


Ertabl. 


All 
Ertabl. 


Per 
Wage 


Opera- 


inal 
Week 


Hrly. 
Eamgs. 


Wkly. 
Earngs. 




In 












Earner 


tion 








Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 




















July*.. 


5,041 


5,041 


50.9 


52.3 


54.2 


$.192 


$9.76 


100 


100 


1920 




















, unc. . 
! uly . . . 


6,760 


8,176 


48.0 


51.5 


50.0 


.477 


22.91 


248 


235 


7,067 


8,574 


47.8 


50.7 


50.0 


.478 


22.82 


249 


234 


Aug.. . 


7,087 


8,574 


47.6 


51.2 


50.0 


.480 


22.84 


250 


234 


Sept . . . 


7,140 


8,640 


47.7 


50.4 


50.0 


.488 


23.27 


254 


239 


Oct ... 


7,252 


8,705 


46.2 


50.8 


50.0 


.475 


21.97 


247 


225 


Nov... 


6,682 


7,978 


45.3 


49.5 


50.0 


.473 


21.42 


246 


220 


Dec. .. 


6,605 


7,654 


42.7 


45.3 


49.9 


.466 


19.92 


243 


204 


1921 




















is,.::: 


5,759 


6,623 


40.6 


44.9 


49.9 


.474 


19.22 


247 


197 


5,558 


6,438 


39.6 


43.5 


49.9 


.476 


18.85 


248 


193 


March . 


5,384 


6,113 


40.6 


43.8 


49.9 


.479 


19.46 


249 


199 


April. . 
May .. 


5,380 


6,234 


37.8 


39.5 


49.9 


.475 


17.98 


247 


184 


4,979 


5,885 


38.9 


41.3 


49.9 


.470 


18.28 


245 


187 


June .. 


4,832 


5.712 


39.9 


41.7 


49.9 


.464 


18.52 


242 


190 



*'1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 



April, 1921 of 39.5 hours, 
revival to 41.7 hours. 



May and June, 1921 witnessed a 



The average week per wage earner showed a decline from 
50.9 hours in July, 1914 to 48 hours per week in June, 1920. 
Following the trend in the hours of plant activity, the de- 
pression period began to take effect in November, 1920. The 
following months reflected a similar tendency, the minimum 
of 37.8 hours being reached in April, 1921. May and June 
brought a revival. 

In general, the trend of hours shows the effect of the eco- 
nomic depression, the productive conditions in this industry 
being well maintained through September, 1920 and under- 
going a marked depression from December, 1920 to April, 
1921. May and June, however, reflected slight stimulation. 



154 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




1820 laei i«i4. im iin 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



Conclusion 

1. The decline in hourly earnings has been slight in this 
industry as compared with the majority of basic industries. 

2. Decrease in weekly earnings has been marked, due to 
reduction in hours worked during the depression period. 
The total decrease in employment has been extensive, the 
effects of the industrial depression not reaching the industry 
until well into 1921. 

3. In general, the industry shows well sustained productive 
conditions in the summer of 1920, a depression period be- 
tween November, 1920 and April, 1921, followed by a revival 
during May and June, 1921. 



155 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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156 



Digitized by LaOOQ IC 



XVII 

PRINTING AND PUBLISHING 

(Book and Job) 

This wage investigation covers 355 establishments engaged 
in book and job printing, employing 22,752 wage earners at 
the high point in August, 1920. Women were employed in 
307 of these establishments. The geographical distribution 
within 36 states and the District of Columbia is as follows: 

Alabama 2 Montana 2 

California 16 Nebraska 3 

Colorado 3 New Hampshire 2 

Connecticut 2 New Jersey 7 

District of Columbia 3 New Mexico 1 

Georgia 3 New York 59 

Illinois 37 North Dakota 1 

Indiana 9 Ohio 55 

Iowa 5 Pennsylvania 19 

Kansas 3 Rhode Island 3 

Kentucky 4 South Carolina 1 

Louisiana 1 South Dakota 3 

Maine 2 Tennessee 8 

Maryland 8 Texas 2 

Massachusetts 24 Utah 3 

Michigan 11 Virginia 8 

Minnesota 11 Washington . . 6 

Mississippi 1 Wisconsin 14 

Missouri 13 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 109% in the peak months of 
March, April and June, 1921. From June, 1920 up to July, 
1921, there was an increase of 7.9% in hourly earnings. 
The general trend shows gradual increases during 1920 and a 
practically stationary condition during the first six months of 
1921. Hourly earnings of common labor reached a peak in 
October, 1920, when they had increased 138% over 1914, and 
from the latter period up to July, 1921, they declined 5.2%, 
leaving a net increase of 126%. 

157 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



The hourly earnings of skilled labor attained a peak in 
December, 1920 and In March and June, 1921, the total in- 
'crease in these months being 103% over 1914. The increase 
from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 amounted to 7.8%. The 
peak of hourly earnings for women was not reached until 
February, 1921, when there was an increase of 136% over 
1914. Between June, 1920 and February, 1921, hourly earn- 
ings of women increased 7.8% and between the latter period and 
June, 1921, decreased slightly more than one per cent. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 109% from July, 1914 to October, 1920 
and from the latter period up to July, 1921 declined 5.6%, 
leaving a net increase of 97%. The trend showed a gradual 
increase during 1920 to October, followed by a decided drop 
at the beginning of 1921, due to shorter hours worked. 

The weekly earnings of common labor increased 138% from 
July, 1914 to June, 1920, those of skilled labor were 109% 
higher in October, 1920 and those of women 133% higher in 
December, 1920. The percentages of decline for the three 
groups from their respective peaks up to July, 1921 were: 
common labor, 14%; skilled labor, 6.5%; women, 8.8%. In 
the middle of June, 1921, weekly earnings of common labor 
were 105% above 1914, those of skilled labor, 95% and those of 
women, 113%. 

Employment 

The decline in the total number of wage earners from the 
high point in August, 1920 to June, 1921 was 23.5%. The 
drop in May, 1921 is accounted for by strike conditions exist- 
ing in many of the plants during this month. It will be 
noted that the recovery from May to June did not cover the 
ground lost between April and May. 

There was an increase of 21.2% in employment in identical 
establishments between July, 1914 and June, 1920. In June, 
1921 employment in identical establishments was below that 
of the July, 1914 level. While the printing industry has not 
been so directly affected by economic conditions as have 
many manufacturing industries, the reaction from general 
business stagnation is shown by the reduction in employment 
particularly during 1921. 

158 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVBIVABK HOUIILY BAIININBB 

MOEX 



ACTUAL neuREa 



INDEX NUMBCPB 



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ACTUAL FIBUWea "^KSr INDEX NUMBCPB 




IBM IBBO 



.IBBI 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



159 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 


One Week 
lo 


1914-21 
Ettabl. 


Total 

All 

Ettabl. 


Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 


Av. 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 

Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Not. 
EaminKS 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 

July*.... 

1920 

une 

!uly... 

Aug 

Sept 

Oct 

Nov.... 
Dec 

1921 

Jan 

Feb 

Mar 

April. . . . 

May 

June 


13yl51 

15,944 

15,887 
15,979 
15,738 
15,770 
15,728 
15,516 

14,681 
14,233 
13,901 
13,360 
12,148 
12,368 


13yl5l 

22,346 
22,596 
22,752 
22,233 
22,198 
22,002 
21,621 

20,509 
19,806 
19,259 
18,538 
16,982 
17,413 


46.5 

46.4 
47.2 
46.2 
46.2 
47.0 
46.9 
46.7 

44.6 
44.1 
44.4 
43.9 
44.1 
43.8 


49.0 
49.2 

50.2 
49.0 
49.3 
48.9 
48.7 
47.9 

45.8 
45.8 
46.2 
45.8 
45.7 
46.4 


49.0 

48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
48.3 

48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
48.3 
47.7 
47.7 


$.301 

.584 
.597 
.601 
.619 
.622 
.623 
.623 

.625 
.627 
.629 
.630 
.623 
.630 


$14.01 

27.07 
28.18 
27.79 
28.57 
29.24 
29.17 
29.12 

27.90 
27.66 
27.95 
27.65 
27.45 
27.60 


100 
194 

198 
200 
206 
207 
207 
207 

208 
208 
209 
209 
208 
209 


100 

193 
201 
198 
204 
209 
208 
208 

199 
197 
200 
197 
196 
197 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 



Hours 



The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
49. In June, 1920, they were 48.3 hours. The latter standard 
was maintained up to May, 1921, when there was a fall to 
47.7 hours. This decrease in the nominal week has been af- 
fected by the introduction of the 44-hour week in many of the 
printing establishments in the larger cities. As many of the 
plants covered in the investigation are from smaller towns and 
cities not affected by the 44-hour week movement, the de- 
crease in hours here shown is not so marked as is probably 
the case in many establishments in the larger cities. 

The actual week of plant operation amounted to 49 hours 
in July, 1914. In June, 1920, the hours remained practically 
the same — 49.2 per week. There was little change during 
the remaining months of 1920, but at the beginning of 1921 
there was a reduction to approximately 46 hours per week. 

160 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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This average has been maintained throughout the first six 
months of 1921. 

The actual week per wage earner remained practically un- 
changed between July, I9I4 and June, 1920. During the 
remaining months of 1920, there was a slight net increase in 
the average hours worked. However, in January, 1921 there 
was a fall of over two hours per wage earner, and the general 
level of 44 hours per week has been maintained. This reduc- 
tion in hours has directly affected the trend of wages. 

Conclusion 

1. Reduction of working hours has caused an increase in 
hourly earnings and a decrease in weekly earnings. The 
peculiar conditions affecting this industry make wage com- 
parisons difficult with those in many basic industries. The 
introduction of the 44-hour week in May, 1921, makes it 
difficult to show the real trend of conditions. 

2. The total decline of almost 24% in employment shows 
that the industry has been affected by layoffs rather than 
by severe reductions in hours or wage cutting. 

3. On the whole, the industry shows less decline in weekly 
earnings than practically any other basic industry covered 
by the investigation. 

161 



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162 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XVIII 

PRINTING AND PUBLISHING 

(Newspapers and Periodicals) 

The wage investigation in establishments engaged in print- 
ing newspapers and periodicals includes 111 plants, employing 
at the high point in December, 1920, 3,920 wage earners. 
Women were employed in 6Z of these plants. The geographi- 
cal distribution within 34 states is as follows: 

Arizona 1 Mississippi 1 

California 6 Missouri 5 

Colorado 1 Montana 1 

Connecticut 2 Nebraska 1 

Florida 2 New Jersey I 

Idaho 1 New York 9 

Illinois 8 North Dakota 1 

Indiana 2 Ohio 1 

Iowa 12 Oklahoma 3 

Kansas 4 Oregon 1 

Kentucky 1 Pennsylvania 10 

Louisiana 1 South Carolina 1 

Maryland 1 Tennessee 1 

Massachusetts 8 Texas 2 

Maine 1 Virginia 2 

Michigan 3 Wisconsin 6 

Minnesota 4 Wyoming 1 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 76% from July, 1914 up to July, 
1921. The period between June, 1920 and June, 1921, 
inclusive, was characterized by gradual increase in hourly 
earnings, amounting to 6.8%. 

The high point of hourly earnings of common labor was 
reached in December, 1920 when there was an increase of 
94% over 1914; by the middle of June, 1921, the hourly 
earnings of common labor dropped approximately 10%, leav- 
ing a net increase of 75% over 1914. The peak of hourly 
earnings of skilled labor was not reached until the middle of 

163 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



June, l92l, when there was shown an increase of 78% over 
1914. The year 1920-1921 saw a continual increase amount- 
ing to 8.6%. The high point of hourly earnings for women 
was reached in November and December, 1920, when they 
were 122% above July, 1914. The decline up to July, 1921, 
was 2.8%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 82% from July, 1914 to December, 

1920, and decreased 5% from the latter period up to July, 

1921, leaving at that time a net increase of 73% over 1914 
The trend shows a gradual increase through the months of 
1920, reaching the peak at the close of the year, followed by 
very slight decreases during 1921, due to fewer hours worked. 

The high point of weekly earnings for the male labor groups 
was reached in December, 1920. At that time, the weekly 
earnings of common labor were 110%, and those of skilled 
labor 85%, above 1914. The peak of 112% above 1914 for 
women was reached in November, 1920. The percentages 
of decrease for the three groups up to July, 1921 were as 
follows: common labor y 7.5%; skilled labor ^ 3.4%; women^ 
20.1%. In June, 1921 the percentages of increase over 1914 
for the three groups were respectively 95%, 79% and 69%. 
The large drop in weekly earnings for women in June, 1921 is 
accounted for by a large reduction in the hours worked. 

£mplo3rment 

The total decrease in numbers of wage earners from the 
peak in December, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 4.8%. Be- 
tween June, 1920 and December there was a slight increase 
in the numbers employed, amounting to about 8%. The 
problem of unemployment in this industry is relatively un- 
important, as the industry has been little affected by general 
industrial stagnation. 

The total number of wage earners in identical establish- 
ments increased 39% between July, 1914 and June, 1920. 
In the middle of June, 1921, the increase over July, 1914 was 
still larger, amounting to 40.3%. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 
amounted to 50.3. Following a general reduction in the 

164 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKIVABK HOUIILV BAWNINBB 

ACTUAL nauwca "^Hf^ index numbcrb 




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AVKP, 

ACTUAL fiaURjEB 



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WBBKI-r BABNINBa 



"< 



s 



NUMKSI 

39Q 






INDEX 


NUMBERS 










325 


























\ 


300 




























673 

ESQ 

£00 
179 


























































































/ 


N 




MM 




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190 


// 


























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(National Industrial Conference Board) 



165 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 







Composite Pa 


yroU 


Data 








Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Houn 


Wa 

(AH Wage 


Earners) 








Av. 


Av. 








Index Not. 


One 




Total 


Week 


Hourt 


Nom- 


Av. 


Av. 


Earnings 


Week 


1914-21 
Ettabl. 


All 
Ettabl. 


Per 
Wage 


Plant 
Opera- 


inal 
Week 


Hrly. 
Earngt. 


Wkly. 
Earngs. 




In 












Earner 


tion 








Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 




















JulyV. 


2^57 


2,257 


44.7 


45.0 


50.3 


$.413 


$18.44 


100 


100 


1920 




















. une . . 
.uly... 


3,137 


3,636 


45.1 


48.9 


49.3 


.680 


30.66 


165 


166 


3,102 


3,607 


44.7 


48.8 


49.3 


.677 


30.28 


164 


164 


Aug. . 


3,288 


3,787 


45.3 


48.6 


49.3 


.677 


30.68 


164 


166 


Sept . . . 


3,227 


3,744 


45.5 


48.9 


49.3 


.697 


31.67 


169 


172 


Oct.... 


3,203 


3,713 


45.9 


49.0 


49.3 


.708 


32.52 


171 


176 


Nov... 


3,300 


3,818 


46.3 


49.1 


49.3 


.721 


33.40 


175 


181 


Dec... 


3,412 


3,920 


46.4 


48.6 


49.3 


.723 


33.54 


175 


182 


1921 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


3,419 


3,917 


45.7 


48.9 


49.3 


.723 


33.03 


175 


179 


3,383 


3,882 


45.1 


48.5 


49.2 


.724 


32.62 


175 


177 


March . 


3,385 


3,890 


45.2 


48.9 


49.2 


.715 


32.30 


173 


175 


April.. . 
May... 


3,205 


3,787 


45.1 


48.2 


49.2 


.720 


32.48 


174 


176 


3,102 


3,677 


44.5 


48.2 


48.9 


.719 


- 32.02 


174 


174 


June. . . 


3,166 


3,733 


43.9 


47.1 


48.8 


.726 


31.87 


176 


173 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

length of working hours during the war period, there was a 
decline to 49.3 hours in June, 1920. The latter standard was 
maintained through the following months until May, 1921, 
when there was a decline to 48.9 hours. This slight decrease 
is unquestionably caused by the introduction of the 44-hour 
week in some of the plants in the larger cities, but as many of 
the schedules in this group have come from small towns, the 
general effect on the present figures is unimportant. 

The average week of plant operation increased from 45 hours 
in July, 1914 to 48.9 hours in June, 1920. The general average 
of the 48 J^ to 49-hour week was maintained through March, 
1921. In April and May, there was a drop to 48.2 hours, 
followed by a further decline to 47.1 hours in June. Plant 
operation in the latter two months was affected by strike con- 
ditions existing in some of the plants. 

The average week per wage earner increased from 44.7 hours 
in July, 1914 to 45.1 hours in June, 1920. There was a grad- 

166 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AOOOr 



3.000 



NUMBER OF 




mrSacM AVERABC HOURS OF 
BO 



es 



;ar..T=P4-":-"-;:"c; 



JMM. MAmPf ncMiw tajmmtmm wi(jm\ ^fly 

1820 laei IBI4 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



JWji.<iit«w(icTwwottj<NrttMi«<iipMiinfjuH 
IB80 IBBI 



ual increase during the following months in 1920, reaching 
46.3 and 46.4 hours, respectively, in November and December, 

1920. The beginning of the year 1921 was characterized by a 
decline, which was followed in May and June by further 
reductions. The whole trend of hours in May and June, 1921 
was affected by peculiar conditions existing in this industry. 

Conclusion 

1. The increase in hourly earnings and the decline in 
weekly earnings were affected by reduction in the length of 
working hours. 

2. The standard of hours was generally maintained through- 
out 1920 until April, 1921. The decrease in May and June, 

1921, was due to labor conditions in some of the larger plants. 

3. The effect of close organization in an industry in main- 
taining high wage levels during a time of widespread indus- 
trial depression is reflected by the investigation. 



167 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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168 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XIX 

LUMBER MANUFACTURING AND MILLWORK 

The wage inquiry is confined to establishments, exclusive 
of sawmills, engaged in the manufacture of dressed lumber, 
sashes, doors and blinds, and general interior and exterior wood- 
work and trim. Schedules were received from 302 plants employ- 
ing 12,900 wage earners at the high point in July, 1920. Statistics 
covering women were not compiled, as the number of female 
wage earners employed in this industry is negligible. Over 
13% of the wage earners listed in the 1919 Census of Manu- 
factures as then employed in this industry are included in 
this report. The average number employed per mill, accord- 
ing to the Census, is 19 wage earners; in these data, the average 
is 42. Therefore, while the number of establishments in- 
cluded in this report is small in comparison with the whole 
industry, the percentage of wage earners covered and the 
distribution and size of establishments may be considered as 
representative of the industry. The geographical distribu- 
tion within 39 states and the District of Columbia is as 
follows: 

Alabama 1 Missouri 11 

Arkansas 2 Montana 4 

California 12 Nebraska 5 

Colorado 4 New Hampshire 4 

Connecticut 6 New Jersey 7 

District of Columbia 1 New York 23 

Florida 4 North Carolina 2 

Georgia 1 North Dakota 2 

Illinois 13 Ohio. 33 

Indiana 8 Oklahoma 1 

Iowa 6 Oregon ., 4 

Kansas 2 Pennsylvania 36 

Kentucky 6 Rhode Island 2 

Louisiana 3 Tennessee 7 

Maine 4 Texas 6 

Maryland 4 Utah 2 

Massachusetts 14 Vermont 3 

Michigan 19 Virginia 5 

Minnesota 7 Washington . . , 5 

Mississippi 1 Wisconsin 22 

169 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners show an increase of 132% from July, 1914 to 
October, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to 
July, 1921 was 12.1%. In June, 1921 the increase reached 
104% over July, 1914. The high point was attained in the 
fall of 1920 and a gradual decline has marked the trend through 
June, 1921 . The deflation in hourly earnings has been gradual 
and, in general, corresponds with levels in hourly earnings iji 
most basic industries. 

In October, 1920 the hourly earnings of common labor had 
increased 136%, and those oi skilled labor 121% above 1914. 
The decline from October, 1920 up to July, 1921 amounted to 
16.4% for common labor and 10.6% for skilled labor. In June, 
1921 the percentage increases over July, 1914 for the two 
groups were respectively 97% and 98%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 106% from July, 1914 to October, 
1920 and declined 14.1% from the latter period up to July, 
1921, showing a net increase in June, 1921 of 77% over July, 
1914. The high point of weekly earnings, for both groups, 
was reached in October, 1920 when common labor was 124% 
and skilled labor 105% above 1914. From the latter period 
up to July, 1921, the decline was 20% for common labor and 
11% for skilled labor. In June, 1921, percentage increases 
over July, 1914 for the two groups were respectively 80% 
and 82%. 

The high point of wages for employees in planing mills was 
reached in October, 1920. The general flow of wages since 
that period has been steadily downward. A revival occurred 
in March, 1921, but was not sustained, the general economic 
depression continuously afi'ecting wages up to July, 1921. 
The trend of wage reductions has been directly afi'ected by 
the actual hours the groups have worked. Common labor 
has sustained by far the greater wage reductions, yet has 
worked more hours than skilled labor, the final figures of per- 
centage increases over 1914 being practically the same for 
both groups. The trend of wage changes shows a peak in 
October, 1920, a marked, decrease in the early winter of 1921, 
a rather distinctive revival in the early spring, followed by 

170 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



fa 

00 




ACTUAL 


AVBIVAaK 

FISURES 




HOUIiL.V 


KAPNiNaa 

INDEX 


Nl 


JM( 


BEffb 










nn 




























ses 

300 

07 M 


























® 


no 






















































70 






















































BO 


/ 




M 


N-i 


?Si 


P. 


- 


... 


*. 




^.^ 


N 




eao 
eoo 

175 
190 

ie5 

100 

H JU 




























90 


/ 




< 


L W 


— 




US 


N 


^ 




^ 


^ 


- 




: 




x: 


s 


LU 

Ail 


li* 


^ 


^ 


m. 


40 


II 


.... 


••• 


EN- 


fS 


tt? 


9 


••- 


••i 








/ 


,-** 


-C8 


•-• 


It- 

IU4 


1 


30 


r' 






















'•.. 


... 


/ 
























20 


7 


























/ 




















- 






1 




























/ 







































[J 








iJ 








/ 


























JU 


cr J 


^J« 


L4U 


iX 


TO 




KR 


1^04 


*IF! 




»AI 


vm! 


W 


LY J 


IMJU 


L4U 


&XI 


TX 


TNWK 


CJAHFI 


IM 


^> 


tvv 


b>N 


iai4 


I9E 


D 










1 


BB 


1 








iai4 


198 


a 










1 


BB 











SO' 




ACTUAL 


A 


VKPAI 

FIBURES 


IK 




WBBKLV 


BAPNINOa 

INOEX 


NUMBERS 










49 




























3SS 






















































300 








































% 












































y 




-»• 


— 




.*. 


••. 












































/ 






VM 


K 


MM 


Id 


\ 


-- 


m 


!«-« 


nxi 


S.- 


8S9 




























eo 
la 


// 


... 


.-• 


,.•« 


..• 


... 


•v 


\ 


Me 


i-ur 


am 


ZO 


" 


eoo 






y' 

P 


*•• 




s 


\ 


\ 












/ / 
















*.. 


.- 






•%, 


/ 








s 


S 






Hi 


llZ 

i 


g 


/ 


























190 

ie9 

100 


/ 
















AU 


«M 


Si 


■ 




















































c 




























/ 


























t^ 


lM 


-M 


K 


A% 


; M 


Vff 


^•1^ 


FF 


|M^ 


14^ 


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m^ 


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iiW 


Tff 


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91 


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1 








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1 


■■ 


1 









(National Industrial Conference Board) 



171 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



PeriodI 


1^ Number 
II Employed 


Average Hours 


Wa 
(All Wage 


Earners) 










Actual 


Actual 








Index Nos. 


One 

Week 
In 


1914-21 


Total 

All 

Ettabl. 


Week 
Per 

Earner 


Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Nomi- 

nal 
Week 


Av. 
Hrly. 
Earngs. 


Av. 

Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Earnings 


Establ. 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 




















July*.. 


11,064 


11,064 


52.5 


53.2 


55.6 


$.246 


$12.93 


100 


100 


1920 




















. une . . 
. uly • ■ • 


9,315 


12,006 


48.9 


52.8 


52.4 


.548 


26.82 


223 


197 


10,105 


12,900 


49.3 


53.1 


52.4 


.545 


26.87 


222 


197 


Aug. . . 


10,020 


12,765 


49.1 


53.1 


52.3 


.560 


27.54 


228 


202 


Sept . . . 


9,641 


12,348 


49.4 


52.4 


52.3 


.567 


27.93 


230 


205 


Oct.... 


9,208 


11,760 


49.3 


52.1 


52.3 


.570 


28.06 


232 


206 


Nov... 


8,682 


11,213 


48.5 


51.6 


52.2 


.566 


27.44 


230 


201 


Dec... 


8,250 


10,661 


47.8 


49.3 


52.1 


.558 


26.65 


227 


196 


1921 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


7,275 


9,306 


44.7 


46.5 


51.8 


.545 


24.38 


222 


179 


7,650 


9,717 


46.0 


48.8 


51.8 


.529 


^4.36 


215 


179 


March . 


7,625 


9,766 


46.5 


48.9 


51.8 


.525 


24.40 


213 


179 


April. . . 
May. . . 


8,024 


10,130 


46.5 


48.6 


51.9 


.518 


24.09 


211 


177 


7,783 


10,014 


47.9 


49.0 


51.9 


.501 


24.01 


204 


176 


June.. . 


7,402 


9,753 


48.1 


49.6 


51.9 


.501 


24.10 


204 


177 



* 1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

a slump in the middle of the year. On the whole, the industry 
evidently was not affected by the depression until somewhat 
later than most basic industries. The early spring revival 
was unquestionably produced by the hope that there would 
be a stimulation in the building trades and in general con- 
struction and repair work, leading to large demand for the 
products of planing mills. This expectation, however, was 
not realized and a slump in the spring of 1921 occurred. 

Emplos^ment 

Total decline in employment from the high point in July, 
1920 up to July, 1921 was 24.4%. There was a gradual 
decline in employment through 1920, followed by a marked 
drop in January, continued recovery through the spring 
months, and a slight slump in June, 1921. From the begin- 
ning of 1921 to the middle of the year the recovery from the 

172 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



depression period showed a 4.8% increase in total employ- 
ment. In June, 1921 there were 33.1% fewer people employed 
in identical establishments than in July, 1914. June, 1920 
marked a slight decline in employment in comparison with 
July, 1914. The whole industry during this period experienced 
only a slight growth, as comparison of the 1914 and 1919 
Censuses of Manufactures shows. The industry being prac- 
tically the same size in 1920 as in 1914, the comparison should 
rather be made between 1920 and 1921. If the industry had 
expanded even at the normal rate relative to the increase of 
population between 1914 and 1920, the decrease in employ- 
ment from the high point in 1920 up to July, 1921 would 
not have appeared so distinctive. The loss in total numbers 
employed between June, 1920 and June, 1921 is, however, 
approximately an average decrease for most of the basic 
industries. 

The fact that industry did not increase in size during the 
war period also has a direct effect on hours and wages. If 
there had been a particularly high demand for the products 
of this industry, there would have been unquestionably a faster 
increase in wages. The demand for planing mill products 
comes not only from building trades operations, or primary 
construction, but also from replacement and repair work, or 
secondary construction. The tendency toward decline in 

173 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



building trades operations has curtailed considerably the 
activity of planing mills, particularly in the months of 1921. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914, 
were 55.6. In correlation with the general reduction of man- 
ufacturing hours during the war period, there was a reduction 
to 52.4 hours per week in June, 1920. This standard of hours 
was maintained practically throughout the rest of 1920, there 
being a slight decline in the months of 1921. 

The trend of actual average hours of plant operation shows 
a reduction from 53.2 in July, 1914 to 52.8 in June, 1920. 
Plant activity began to decrease gradually in December, 
1920, while the trough was reached in January. A marked 
revival, probably stimulated by the hope that building trades 
and reconstruction would start in the spring, started a steady 
and permanent recovery up to the middle of 1921. 

The average actual week per wage earner showed a decline 
from 52.5 hours in July, 1914 to 48.9 hours in June, 1920. 
This decline in actual man hours is not so distinctive as in 
many other industries during this period. The general trend 
of actual hours per wage earner has followed the line of plant 
activity closely, the trough period occurring in the winter 
months of 1920-1921, at the same time as the depression in 
plant activity, followed by a marked recovery in the spring 
of 1921. In June, 1921 the average wage earner in planing 
mills was working nearly the full time that the plant operated. 
Indications are that there has been a recovery of productive 
efficiency on the part of the individual wage earner in 1921. 

Conclusion 

1. Decrease in wages has been gradual since the peak m 
the fall of 1920, except for slight stimulus in the early spring 
of 1921, due to the hope of a revival in building and con- 
struction work. 

2. Wage declines in both hourly and weekly earnings 
indicate that the general wage reductions throughout Amer- 
ican manufacturing industries up to July, 1921 had not 
vitally influenced conditions in this industry. The slight 
decline in weekly earnings is ascribable to the maintenance 

174 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



o 
w 

■J 
■J 



< 



o 

Q 



I 



o 






521.5 

HP 






« § £ 



ill 



Q 
O 






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^=1 






til 






S 
^ 



OOOOOOOv t>i> 00 So t^ r^ oo 

*^ CN CN CN CS CN es| tH ^ ;? «-4 vH «-l ^ 



^ <N CS CM CS CM CM CS CM CM N ?l » •-« 



>0 t^^t^OOtOQ >p «M 5j« 'H «0 00 

w-j rH^OOO^CO^ »0 <*5 O 0> «*• fO 

w-> ^^'^*^*^^Q r^ooopt^V»oo 

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I 



vO \2 vC ^ >0 NO VO S>0>ONO*')*0 



c> '^ ® *^. *^. ^ *^. ® ^. ^. *''. ^. *? ® 



I 



»o O vO CM to 00 "2 
"^ o5 »0 >0 ^ 0^ -^ 
Oj^CSCM^-J^OOCOCM 



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0\ ^ to «-< ^i-^ CO 
^^uSiO^00 00>O 

irT «o^ t^r I'T lo" «'^ 



lO O 00 CM 1* Ov t;* 
O «-H «-i CM CM ^ O 
CM CM CM CM CM CM CM . 



Ov 00 Ov 00 00 00 



8 



i-H V-40 O OvOv 
CM CM CM CM *^ •-« 



!Q a!S25sS8S 






Ov 9^ Ov 00 00 00 






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^hO OnoO*^*^ 
^ "^ CO cO CO CO 



^ *«* t^ CO »0 O Ov 



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rH *«- C5 '-t O »-• 
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CO ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 



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SJ 



5. Ma^^6&& 3is^A 



CO 



a 
a 



175 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



of practically full-time operation during 1920 and the first 
half of 1921. 

3. The total employment declined 24% from the high 
point of 1920 through June, 1921. The decline seemed severe 
in view of the fact that the industry as a whole showed only 
a slight expansion in the years 1914-1921, inclusive. 

4. The nominal week and the hours of plant operation de- 
clined from 1914-1920, following general reductions in hours 
throughout industry. 

5. The hours worked by the individual wage earner closely 
follow those of plant activity, indicating, in the spring of 1921, 
a marked recovery of productive efficiency. 



17b 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XX 

FURNITURE MANUFACTURING 

The wage investigation in this industry includes establish- 
ments manufacturing wooden and upholstered furniture, and 
also a few plants engaged in cabinet work. A total of 166 
establishments is covered, employing over 20,000 wage- 
earners in June, 1920. Women were employed in 92 of 
these plants. Approximately 13% of the wage earners listed 
in the 1919 Census of Manufactures as then employed in this 
industry are covered in this investigation. The majority of 
the returns came from the largest centers of furniture manu- 
facturing. The geographical distribution within 27 states is 
as follows: 

California 4 Montana 1 

Connecticut 4 New Jersey 2 

Georgia 2 New York 25 

Illinois 9 Ohio 19 

Indiana 17 Oregon 2 

Kansas 1 Pennsylvania 15. 

Kentucky 6 South Carolina 1 

Maryland 3 Tennessee 1 

Massachusetts 9 Texas 2 

Missouri 4 Virginia 1 

Michigan 21 Vermont 2 

Maine 1 West Virginia 1 

Minnesota 3 Wisconsin 7 

North Carolina 3 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 150% in December, 1920 
in comparison with July, 1914. The decline from the peak 
up to July, 1921 was 12.7%, showing a gradual fall about 
equal to the general decline of hourly earnings during this 
period. In December, 1920 hourly earnings of common labor 
were 182% above 1914, and those oi skilled labor had increased 
148%. The high point for women was reached in October, 
when hourly earnings had increased 141%. The percentages 

177 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



of decline from these various peaks up to July, 1921 for the 
three groups were: comfnon labofy 14.8%; skilled laboty 12.2%; 
womefiy 12.9%. In June, 1921 the three groups showed 
respective increases over 1914, of 140%, 118% and 109%. 
The general level of hourly earnings was somewhat higher 
than in other industries. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners showed an increase of 142% from July, 1914 to 
September, 1920, and declined 15.3% from the latter period 
up to July, 1921. Weekly earnings were at the low point 
in the middle of 1921, as the result of gradual reduction. 
The high point of weekly earnings for the male group was 
reached in September, 1920, when common labor showed an 
increase of 159% and skilled labor an increase of 143% over 
1914. The peak for women was reached in October, when an 
increase of 134% was shown. The declines from these vari- 
ous periods up to July, 1921 were: common labor, 14.2%; 
skilled labor, 15.4%; women, 19.5%. In June, 1921 the per- 
centage increases over 1914 were respectively 122%, 105%, 
89%. In general, reduction of wages has been gradual, the 
decline in weekly earnings being directly affected by the 
decline in plant activity. 

Employment 

The decline in the total number of wage earners employed 
from June, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 23.7%. The trough 
was reached in January, 1921, when there was a decline of 
29.3% from June, 1920, followed by an increase to June, 1921 
of 7.8%. Indications pointed toward a slight revival of in- 
dustrial activity during 1921. The declines in employment 
for the three groups, between June, 1920 and June, 1921, 
were, for common labor, 22.2%, skilled labor, 22.7% and 
women, 33.8%. 

Comparison of employment in identical establishments be- 
tween July, 1914 and June, 1920 shows practically no change. 
In June, 1921, there were 19% fewer wage earners employed 
in plants than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
55. A smaller decrease in working hours took place during 

178 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



AVKHAttK HOUHLV feAHNINftS 
4£& 



INDEX NUMBEffS 




laei iai4 laeo 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



179 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average Hours 


Wages 

(All Wage Earners) 


One 

Week 
In 


1914-21 
Ettabl. 


Total 

All 

Ettabl. 


Actual 
Week 

>^ge 

Earner 


Actual 
Hours 
Plant 
Opera- 
tion 


Norn, 
inal 
Week 


Ay. 

Hrly. 

Eamgs. 


At. 
Wkly. 
Eaings. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 
July*.. 

1920 
/une... 

uly... 
Aug — 
Sept.. 
Oct.... 
Nov . . . 
Dec... 

1921 
Jan.... 
Feb.... 
March . 
April. . . 
May... 
June . . . 


14,140 

14,357 
14,333 
14,193 
13,942 
13,524 
13,248 
12,154 

11,146 
11,149 
11,231 
11,402 
11,519 
11,448 


14,140 

20,052 
19,987 
19,965 
19,511 
18,627 
17,719 
16,127 

14,186 
14,551 
14,957 
15,232 
15,340 
15,293 


49.0 

49.3 
48.5 
48.5 
48.3 
46.9 
45.9 
44.6 

42.6 
43.0 
44.9 
45.1 
45.9 
45.8 


5L5 

51.4 
51.0 
50.5 
50.6 
49.2 
47.8 
46.8 

45.0 
45.7 
46.8 
47.1 
48.2 
47.4 


55.1 

52.3 
52.3 
52.3 
52.2 
52.3 
52.3 
52.3 

52.2 
52.2 
52.2 
52.2 
52.1 
52.2 


$.224 

.526 
.534 
.538 
.549 
.552 
.556 
.561 

.542 
.524 
.509 
.497 
.498 
.490 


$10.95 

25.91 
25.88 
26.08 
26.49 
25.87 
25.51 
25.05 

23.10 
22.52 
22.85 
22.40 
22.89 
22.45 


100 

235 
238 
240 
245 
246 
248 
250 

242 
234 
227 
222 
222 
219 


100 

237 
236 
238 
242 
236 
233 
229 

211 
206 
209 
205 
209 
205 



♦1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

the war period than In many industries, there having been 
a general reduction to slightly under 52j/^ hours a week in 
June, 1920. The latter standard was maintained to the middle 
of 1921. 

The average week of plant operation showed only a slight 
decrease from 51.5 hours in July, 1914 to 51.4 hours in June, 
1920. Plant activity showed a slight decrease thi;ough 
September, followed by more severe reductions to the low 
point of 45 hours in January. There was a marked recovery 
of industrial activity during the following months of 1921, 
though production did not reach the standard of the pre- 
ceding year. 

The average week per wage earner was 49 hours in July, 
1914. The summer months of 1920 showed an average of 
approximately 48 hours per week. The industrial depression, 
however, began to take effect in the late fall and continued 
through January, when a trough of 42.6 hours was reached. 

180 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 

As the recovery in plant activity increased, a similar revival 
affected the actual week per wage earner during the spring of 
1921. The whole trend in hours presents a particularly good 
picture of an industry threatened by the industrial depression, 
though not so seriously as many other basic industries. 

Conclusion 

1. Decline in hourly earnings has been less than in the 
majority of basic industries, while the decrease in weekly 
earnings has been affected more by a reduction in working 
hours than by wage cutting. The general trend of wage reduc- 
tions is in close sympathy with the movement in industry as 
a whole, outside of the metal and textile industries. 

2. A decline in the total employment of 24% during the 
past year shows that the tendency has been to curtail working 
forces rather than to make severe wage reductions. 

3. Industrial activity was maintained during the summer 
of 1920, slumped during the winter, and recovered in the 
spring months of 1921. 



181 



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XXI 

BRICK AND TILE MANUFACTURING 

Wage data for this industry were received from establish- 
ments engaged in the manufacture of brick, tile and fire-clay 
products. The compilation includes 143 separate plants 
employing 7,715 wage earners in July, 1920. Statistics 
covering women have not been compiled, as the number of 
women employed in the industry is negligible. While the 
number of establishments and wage earners covered in this 
report is small in comparison with the whole industry, the 
source and type of establishments covered is representative. 
According to the 1919 Census of Manufacturers, the average 
number employed in brick and tile plants is 36 wage earners. 
In these data, the average number is 54 wage earners. The 
geographical distribution within 31 states is as follows: 

Arkansas 2 Nebraska 4 

California 7 New Hampshire 1 

Colorado 1 New Jersey 3 

Connecticut 2 New Mexico 1 

Delaware 1 New York 6 

Illinois 12 Ohio 26 

Indiana 7 Pennsylvania 16 

Iowa 17 South Dakota 1 

Kansas 2 Tennessee 1 

Kentucky 6 Texas. 3 

Maryland .• 2 Virginia 1 

Massachusetts 5 Washington 1 

Michigan 4 West Virginia 2 

Minnesota 3 Wisconsin 2 

Missouri 2 Wyoming 1 

Montana 1 

The wage data show that the common or unskilled group 
was approximately twice as large as the skilled group. It will 
be noted, however, that the average hourly earnings of the 
unskilled class are not widely divergent from the skilled group. 
This is due to the fact that certain companies do not clearly 
distinguish between common and skilled labor. Many plants 
consider their entire force as common labor, outside of a few 

183 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



skilled overseers; others designate the whole group as skilled; 
the work performed by both groups is, however, essentially 
the same. The vagueness of occupational classification, 
therefore, prevents compilation of exact wage data. 

The seasonal fluctuations, during the winter and early 
spring months, are clearly shown by this report. As there 
are no previous wage data available for comparative purposes, 
it is not known just how much the economic depression has 
sharpened the seasonal fluctuation during this period. Un- 
questionably, stagnation in the building trades and in the 
demand for products of the brick and tile industry has had 
direct eflFect upon plant operation. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings for all 
wage earners showed an increase of 139% from July, 1914 to 
October, 1920. The decline from the ^ latter period up to 
July, 1921 was 23.2%. In June, 1921, the increase was 84% 
over July, 1914. The general peak was reached in the early 
fall of 1920. A gradual decline followed up to July, 1921. 

In October, 1920 hourly earnings of common labor had 
increased 147% and skilled labor 125% above July, 1914. 
The decline from the general peak in October, 1920 up to 
July, 1921 amounted to 24.6% for common labor and 18.8% for 
skilled labor. In June, 1921 the percentages of increase over 
July, 1914 for the groups were, respectively, 86% and 82%. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings for 
all wage earners increased 135% from July, 1914 to October, 
1920 and declined 25.7% from the latter period up to July, 
1921, showing a net increase through the middle of June, 1921 
of 75% over July, 1914. The high point in weekly earnings for 
both groups was reached in October, 1920, when common 
labor was 135% and skilled labor 138% above 1914. Gradual 
declines from the latter p>eriod through June, 1921 amounted 
to 26.2% for common labor and 23.7% for skilled labor. In June, 
1921, the percentages of increase over July, 1914 for the two 
groups were, respectively, 73% and 82%. 

Both weekly and hourly wages in the brick and tile in- 
dustry have declined rapidly and show a closer return to pre- 
war levels than in the majority of basic mdustries. However, 

184 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



KAHNINBB 

INDEX NUMBERS 




I8BI IBI4 laeo 

(National Industrial Conference Board) 



185 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


Numbers Employed 


Average Weekly Hours 


Wages 
(AU Wage Earners 


\ 


One 
Week 


1914-21 
Estab- 
lish- 
ments 


Total 
All Estab- 
lish- 
ments 


Actual 

Week 

Per 


Actual 
Hours 
Plant 


Nomi- 
nal 


Av. 
Hrly. 


Av. 

Wkly. 


Index No. 
Earnings 




In 


Wage 

Earner 


Opera- 
tion 


Week 


Earngs. 


Earngs. 


Hrly. 


Wkly. 


J914 




















JulyV. 


6,957 


6,957 


52.5 


54.8 


56.8 


$.244 


$12.82 


100 


100 


J920 




















June. . . 


6,301 


7,653 


51.8 


53.5 


55.1 


.543 


28.13 


223 


219 


July... 


6,442 


7,715 


51.5 


52.9 


55.1 


.553 


28.48 


227 


222 


Aug.... 


6,193 


7,606 


51.4 


52.9 


55.1 


.554 


28.50 


227 


222 


Sept .. 


6,013 


7,408 


51.4 


52.6 


55.1 


.572 


29.41 


234 


229 


Oct.... 


5,638 


6,890 


51.7 


51.7 


55.0 


.583 


30.12 


239 


235 


Nov .. 


5,070 


6,190 


50.1 


50.3 


55.0 


.570 


28.54 


234 


223 


Dec... 


4,325 


5,227 


49.2 


48.4 


54.9 


.548 


26.98 


225 


210 


1921 




















Jan.... 
Feb.... 


3,358 


4,033 


49.0 


47.2 


54.9 


.515 


25.23 


211 


197 


3,302 


3,974 


47.9 


47.0 


55.1 


.489 


23.45 


200 


183 


March . 


3,659 


4,344 


48.2 


48.3 


55.0 


.474 


22.83 


194 


178 


April... 


4,574 


5,258 


48.6 


48.9 


55.1 


.459 


22.34 


188 


174 


May. . . 


4,604 


5,440 


49.3 


49.3 


55.1 


.450 


22.16 


184 


173 


June. . . 


4,432 


5,252 


50.0 


49.8 


55.1 


.448 


22.39 


184 


175 



*1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

in this connection three factors must be considered. In the 
first place, June, 1921 is a period just at the threshold of 
summer operations, when the brick and tile industry operates 
at its height* Weekly wages unquestionably rose in the full 
productive season in the summer months of 1921 — a period 
not covered by these statistics. The second factor Is the 
general stagnation of building trades, which resulted in sub- 
stantial wage reductions and a large amount of part-time 
operation in the brick and tile industry. The third factor 
is the seasonal fluctuation, accentuated by the general economic 
depression, which would naturally reenforce tendencies to- 
ward wage reductions. 

Employment 

Total decline in employment from the peak in July, 1920 
up to July, 1921 was 31.9%. The trend of employment 

186 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




(National Industrial Conference Board) 



shows a gradual decrease amounting, as a whole, to 48.5% from 
July, 1920 to February, 1921. The increase between Febru- 
ary and June, 1921 amounted to 32.2%. The decline from 
July, 1920 up to July, 1921 in common labor amounted to 
30.7%, and skilled labor declined 36.5% from June, 1920 up to 
July, 1921. 

The decline in total employment from July, 1914 to June, 
1920 was 9.4%. This followed the decrease of 12% in the 
total number of wage earners employed in the entire industry 
shown m the Census Reports of 1914-1919. In June, 1921 
there were 36.3% less wage earners employed in identical 
establishments than in July, 1914. The decline in employ- 
ment is due to the fact that the brick and tile industry was 
one of the few not especially stimulated by war demands, 
and to the general economic depression that has occurred 
since the general peak of business in 1920. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week in July, 1914 were 
56.8. From July, 1914 to June, 1920, there was a drop to 
55 hours. This standard remained stationary until July, 
1921. The brick and tile industry was less affected by the 

187 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



reduction of hours of the nominal or standard working week 
than almost any other industry covered in this investigation. 

The trend of average actual kours of plant operation shows 
a reduction from 54.8 in July, 1914 to 53.5 in June, 1920. In 
October, 1920, there came a slight reduction in hours, followed 
by the general period of stagnation. The tremendous de- 
pression in the winter, reaching the trough of 47 hours in 
February, 1921, was due to the fact that many plants were 
entirely closed during these months. Thus, the average 
hours of plant operation for the whole group of establishments 
was naturally reduced, though the hours of plant operation 
for those still continuing to manufacture probably did not 
fall to such a great extent. 

The average actual hours per wage earner showed a decline 
from 52.5 in July, 1914 to 51.8 in June, 1920. The level 
of 5\)/2 hours a week was maintained through October, 
1920, followed by the depression period in the winter months. 
The average of worker hours was sustained in comparison with 
the average of plant hours, due to the fact that the wage 
earners retained in plants that operated, maintained a fairly 
regular working week. In other words, plants in the brick and 
tile industry either shut down entirely, during the depression 
period, or operated on part-time production. 

Conclusion 

1. Decline in weekly and hourly earnings has been rapid, 
due particularly to the stagnation in building operations, 
municipal construction, and railroad maintenance. 

2. The declines from the peak up to July, 1921 amounted 
to 23.2% in hourly earnings and 25.7% in weekly earnings. 

3. The net increase in June, 1921, over July, 1914, amounted 
to 84% in average houriy earnings and 75% in average weekly 
earnings. While the amount of wage declines has been ex- 
tensive, these net wage increases in June, 1921, are below those 
found in many other basic industries. 

4. Decline in total employment for the industry has been 
marked throughout the entire seven-year period, due to the 
absence of war stimulation and the general economic depres- 
sion during 1921. 

5. The trends in the hours of the nominal week and in 
plant operation show only slight declines between July, 1914 

188 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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and June, 1920. The hours of plant activity decreased ex- 
tensively through the early months of 1921. The actual 
week per wage earner also showed large declines influenced by 
the depression in plant activity, but was well sustained 
during a large part of the depression period, due to the fact 
that the wage earners retained in active plants were em- 
ployed on full time. 

6. The general situation in the industry has been marked 
by plant shutdowns rather than by reduction of working 
hours and part-time operation. 

7. The general depression period in the industry occurred 
in the winter months of 1920-1921, accentuated by the regular 
seasonal fluctuation. 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



XXII 

GENERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF 
ELECTRICITY 

Wage data were received from 236 establishments engaged 
in the generation and distribution of electricity, employing 
16,268 wage earners at the high point in December, 1920. 
Approximately 20% of all wage earners listed in the 1917 
Census of Central Electric Light and Power Stations, were 
included in the investigation. The geographical distribution 
within 37 states is as follows: 

Arizona 7 Nebraska 2 

Delaware 1 North Dakota 1 

California 21 New Hampshire 1 

Colorado 4 New Jersey 2 

Connecticut 6 New York 23 

Florida 1 North Carolina 1 

Georgia 5 Ohio 11 

Illinois 22 Oregon 2 

Indiana 9 Pennsylvania 25 

Iowa 10 Rhode Island 1 

Kansas 5 South Carolina 2 

Kentucky 1 South Dakota 2 

Maryland 2 Texas 5 

Massachusetts 19 West Virginia 6 

Maine 1 Vermont 2 

Michigan 6 Washington 4 

Minnesota 4 Wyoming 3 

Missouri 2 Wisconsin. 2 

Montana 15 

As there is continuous operation in electric light plants, the 
emphasis in this wage investigation is placed on weekly earn- 
ings. The great majority of employees are either on a monthly 
or a weekly basis, although a percentage of common labor is 
paid on an hourly basis. The fluctuations in the composite 
returns in both hourly and weekly earnings are due in general 
to the common labor group. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 105% from July, 1914 to November, 

191 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



1920, and from the latter period up to July, 1921, declined 
4.6%, leaving a net increase of 96%. The trend shows 
an increase in hourly earnings to November, 1920, and a 
gradual decline since that time. The peak of hourly earnings 
for common labor in October, 1920 showed an increase of 
111% over 1914. The peak of hourly earnings for skilled labor 
was reached in November, 1920, when there was shown an 
increase of 104% over 1914. The percentages of decline from 
these peaks up to July, 1921 were 8.1% for common labor and 
4.1% [oT skilled labor. 

In the middle of June, 1921, the hourly earnings of common 
labor were 94% higher than those of 1914, and those of skilled 
labor, 96%. The great decline in hourly earnings for common 
labor is in line with the general decrease in wages of common 
labor throughout basic industries. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 89% from July, 1914, to August, 1920, 
and from the latter period up to July, 1921 declined 4.1%, 
leaving a net increase of 81% over 1914. The general trend 
is affected slightly by the peaks in hourly earnings during this 
period, but in general, weekly earnings remained at a station- 
ary level from June, 1920 up to July, 1921. 

The peak of weekly earnings of common labor was reached 
in August, 1920, when they stood 86% higher than 1914, and 
for skilled labor, in October, 1920, when they were 95% higher 
than in 1914. The percentages of decrease for both groups 
up to July, 1921 were 14.3% for common labor and 3.4% 
for skilled labor. In June, 1921, the weekly earnings of 
common labor were 59% above 1914, and those oi skilled labor 
88%. 

In general, the trend of wages in electric light plants has 
remained more or less stationary in 1920 and the first half of 

1921. Hourly earnings show a net increase of 96% and 
weekly earnings an increase of 81% over 1914. The net 
increase is below the general level in the majority of basic 
industries. 

Employment 

The percentage of decline from December, 1920 up to 
July, 1921 was 12.7%. In general, the employment situation 
in electric light plants has been less affected by economic 
depression than in manufacturing industries. 

192 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



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(National Industrial Conference Board) 



1Q3 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Composite Payroll Data 



Period 


No. Wage Earners 
Employed 


Average 
Hours 


Wases 
(All Wage Earners) 


One Week In 


1914-21 
Establ. 


Total 

All 
Establ. 


Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 


Nom- 
inal 
Week 


Av. 

Hrly. 

Earngs. 


Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 


Index Nos. 
Earnings 




Hrly. 


Wkly. 


1914 

July* 

1920 
June 


6,624 

10,373 
10,697 
11,064 
11,071 
11,355 
11,416 
11,598 

10,402 
9,687 
9,682 

10,039 
9,997 

10,100 


6,624 

14,465 
14,819 
15,089 
15,229 
15,556 
15,817 
16,268 

14,843 
13,723 
14,011 
14,186 
13,966 
14,209 


52.7 
48.9 

48.1 
50.2 
49.0 
48.5 
47.7 
46.8 

47.7 
48.5 
48.1 
48.2 
48.8 
48.9 


54.9 

53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 

53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 
53.4 


$.278 
.547 

.550 
.554 
.559 
.567 
.570 
.564 

.561 
.562 
.558 
.554 
.549 
.544 


$14.68 

26. n 

26.62 
27.79 
27.37 
27.54 
27.17 
26.40 

26.77 
27.27 
26.85 
26.69 
26.77 
26.64 


100 
197 

198 
199 
201 
204 
205 
203 

202 
202 
201 
199 
197 
196 


100 

182 


July 


181 


August 

September . . 

October 

November . . . 
December 

1921 

January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 


189 
186 
188 
185 
180 

182 
186 
183 
182 
182 
181 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

The increase in the total number employed in identical 
establishments was 56.6% between July, 1914 and June, 
1920. In the middle of June, 1921, 52.5% more employees 
were engaged in identical establishments than in July, 1914. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week decreased from 54.9 
in July, 1914 to 53.4 in June, 1920. The latter standard 
remained unchanged up to July, 1921. 

The average week per wage earner amounted to 52.7 hours 
in July, 1914. In June, 1920, the hours had decreased to 
48.9. The fluctuations in working hours during the rest 
of the period up to July, 1921, are due principally to the 
varying amount of time worked by the common labor group. 
The hours of the skilled group averaged about 50 hours con- 
tinuously. 

194 



Digitized by VjOOQ IC 




IBM IBSO 



IB8I 

(Naticnal Industrial Conference Board) 



Conclusion 

1. The wage situation in electric light plants has been little 
affected by the general economic depression, as continuous 
operation in this industry tends to maintain production, the 
working force, and hours, up to the general normal level. 

2. There has been a proportionately small decline in 
hourly earnings from the peak to the middle of 1921 as com- 
pared with manufacturing industries. 

3. The decline in weekly earnings for common labor has 
been at a general level with that in many manufacturing in- 
dustries, but the composite decrease in weekly earnings 
amounts to only 4%. 

4. Employment in electric light plants has been little 
affected by the general economic depression, the total decline 
amounting to less than 13%. There has been a large expan- 
sion of the industry between 1914 and 1920. 

5. There can be little comparison made between wage and 
employment conditions in electric light plants and, generally 
speaking, all public utility plants, and those of manufacturing 
establishments. 



195 



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XXIII 

MANUFACTURE AND DISTRIBUTION OF GAS 

The wage investigation in this industry covers establish- 
ments engaged in the manufacture and distribution of gas. 
Returns were received from 62 plants, employing 7,207 wage 
earners at the high point in August, 1920. Over 16% of the 
wage earners listed by the 1919 Census of Manufactures as 
then employed in this industry were covered in this investiga- 
tion. The geographical distribution within 24 states is as 
follows: 

California 2 New Jersey 2 

Colorado 1 New York.. 9 

Connecticut 3 North Carolina 1 

Georgia 1 Ohio 2 

Illinois 2 Pennsylvania 6 

Indiana 1 Rhode Island 1 

Kentucky 1 South Carolina 1 

Maryland 2 South Dakota 1 

Massachusetts 9 Vermont 3 

Michigan 3 Virginia 1 

Montana 1 Washington 1 

Minnesota 3 Wisconsin 5 

The chief importance of a wage inquiry among public 
utilities, which operate continuously, is to reflect the trend of 
weekly earnings. Hourly earnings are of little interest, due 
to the fact that there is continuous operation in gas plants 
and that most of the employees are either on a monthly or 
weekly basis. There is a good proportion, however, of 
common labor paid on an hourly basis and it is this group that 
is responsible for most of the variations in the trend of com- 
posite earnings. The chief worth of this study is to compare 
the general levels of wages in 1914 and 1920-1921. 

Wages 

(a) Hourly earnings: Composite hourly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 116% between July, 1914 and Septem- 

197 



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ber, 1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 
1921 amounted to 6.7%, leaving a net increase of 102% in 
June, 1921. The peak of hourly earnings for common labor 
was reached in November, 1920, when there was shown an 
increase of 160% over 1914, and in September, 1920 for 
skilled labofy when there was indicated an increase of 93% 
over 1914. The percentages of decrease from these peaks 
up to July, 1921 amounted to 11.8% for common labor and 
4.1% for skilled labor. In June, 1921 hourly earnings of 
common labor were 129% over 1914, and those of skilled labory 
85%. The downward trend has been gradual throughout 
1920-1921. 

(b) Weekly earnings: Composite weekly earnings of all 
wage earners increased 114% between July, 1914 and October, 

1920. The decline from the latter period up to July, 1921 
amounted to 7.6%, showing a net increase of 98% in June, 

1921. The data reflect a gradual decline during 1920- 
1921. The peak of weekly earnings for both common and 
skilled labor was reached in October, 1920, the former group 
showing an increase of 148% and the latter group an increase 
of 94% over July, 1914. From October, 1920 up to July, 
1921, the percentages of decrease were: for common labor ^ 
10.7% and for skilled labor y 6.1%. In the middle of June, 
1921, common labor was still 122% above 1914 and skilled 
labory 82%. The decrease in wages has been slight and far 
below that in most manufacturing industries. Wages have 
less tendency to change in a public utility, due to constant 
hours and freedom from conditions which in other manufac- 
turing establishments tend to draw wages down. 

Employment 

The decline in the total number of wage earners from the 
high point in August, 1920 up to July, 1921 was 8.2%, a 
decrease substantially lower than that found in manufacturing 
industries. The peak for common labor was also reached in 
August, 1920; for skilled labor, the high point was in February, 
1921. The percentages of decline from these peaks up to 
July, 1921 were 17.2% for common labor and 9.1% for skilled 
labor. 

Between July, 1914 and June, 1920 there was a slight drop 

198 



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AVBirABK HOUPLY KAHNINBB 

INDEX NUMBEWS 



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I sea 

Industrial Conference Board) 



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Composite Payroll Data 



Period 



No. Wage Earners 
Employed 



Average 
Hours 



Wages 
(All Wage Earners) 



One Week In 



1914-21 
Establ. 



Total 

All 
Establ. 



Av. 
Week 

Per 
Wage 
Earner 



Nom- 
inal 
Week 



Av. 

Hrly. 

Earngs. 



Av. 
Wkly. 
Earngs. 



Index Nos. 
Earnings 



Hrly. Wkly 



1914. 

July* 

1920 

June 

July 

August 

September 
October . . , 
November 
December , 

1921 
January. . 
February. 
March . . . 

April 

May 

June 



6,495 



6,495 



6,369 


6,517 


6,929 


7,077 


7,049 


7,207 


6,635 


6,784 


6,962 


7,104 


7,016 


7,162 


7,000 


7,140 


6,959 


7,081 


6,857 


6,975 


6,732 


6,840 


6,845 


6,974 


6,646 


6,777 


6,497 • 


6,618 



52.0 



50.9 
48.7 
47.7 
50.3 
51.8 
50.8 
50.5 



50.3 
49.7 
51.4 
50.5 
50.9 
50.9 



63.3 



59.3 
59.3 
59.3 
59.3 
59.3 
59.3 
59.3 



59.2 
59.2 
59.2 
59.2 
59.2 
59.2 



$.270 



.570 
.565 
.573 
.584 
.580 
.583 
.574 



.565 
.561 
.568 
.551 
.537 
.545 



$14.01 



29.01 
27.51 
27.30 
29.37 
30.02 
29.59 
28.98 



28.43 
27.93 
29.23 
27.85 
27.33 
27.73 



100 



211 
209 
212 
216 
215 
216 
213 



209 
208 
210 
204 
199 
202 



100 



207 
196 
195 
210 
214 
211 
206 



203 
199 
209 
199 
195 
198 



•1914-1921 establishments only. See pp. 3, 5. 

in the total number of wage earners employed in identical 
establishments. In the middle of June, 1921 employment 
was at exactly the same level as in the same month seven years 
previous. 

Hours 

The average hours of the nominal week dropped from 63.3 
in July, 1914 to 59.3 in June, 1920. The latter standard has 
been generally maintained up to Jiily, 1921. 

The average week per wage earner fell from 52 in July, 1914 to 
50.9 in June, 1920. During the course of the year, there 
have been fluctuations in the average week per wage earner, 
due to the changes in the time worked by the common labor 
group. In May and June, 1921, the average hours per wage 
earner were identical with those in June, 1920. Changes in 
hours have not affected wages generally except for minor 
fluctuations among common labor. 

200 



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TwuMNw NUMBER OF WA6E EARNERS 




MCN-SmUXO 



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MCN-UNSMLLED - 



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1881 




MUr MlM.MK.ammtKMaai»KnEWBAPQtMtJJH Jj^- JW JU. AK gnOCT N(MK JW fCI MAP4W HUYJJH 



1814. I9B0 



(National Industrial Ccnference Board) 



Conclusion 

1. The chief purpose of the wage investigation among 
gas plants is to compare the general level of the wages of 
1920-1921 with that of 1914. The questions of hours and 
hourly earnings are of little importance. 

2. The decline in weekly earnings was slightly over six 
per cent, being considerably below the level in manufacturing 
industries. 

3. The decrease in total employment was very slight in 
comparison to general unemployment in basic industries. 



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